Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Artful ExperimentsWays of Knowing in Victorian Literature and Science$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Philipp Erchinger

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474438957

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474438957.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 16 September 2019

The Making of Sensation Fiction

The Making of Sensation Fiction

Chapter:
(p.216) Chapter 8 The Making of Sensation Fiction
Source:
Artful Experiments
Author(s):

Philipp Erchinger

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474438957.003.0009

The argument of this chapter is that the writing of sensation fiction was itself part of the critical endeavour to make sense of the enormous excitement that it produced. There is, in other words, a tendency towards self-investigation and self-reflection inherent in the sensational imagination. Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret and Aurora Floyd, for instance, seem to read and review, repeatedly, the very art that constitutes them. In accordance with Braddon’s letters to Edward Bulwer-Lytton, these novels, being engaged in a quest for their own meaning and social function, are uncertain about the very sensational effects that they helped to create. Likewise, the stories of Wilkie Collins’s Armadale and The Moonstone contain within themselves various models of the creative activity through which they were assembled and made into their characteristically suspended, drawn-out shape. By means of such models, the chapter argues, Collins’s writing makes itself legible, between the lines, as an experimental practice that composes its form as it goes along, rather than on the basis of a predefined plan.

Keywords:   sensation fiction, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Wilkie Collins, experimentation, self-investigation, sensation, detection, composition, emergent form

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.