Ixion's wheel: Masculinity and the figure of the circle in the novels of Charles Dickens

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/282341
Title:
Ixion's wheel: Masculinity and the figure of the circle in the novels of Charles Dickens
Author:
Dryden, Jonathan Norton, 1962-
Issue Date:
1997
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This dissertation investigates through a close reading of four novels--The Pickwick Papers, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations--the way in which masculinity and authorial subjectivity in Dickens's novels are bound to the figure of the circle, an image which functions both as a figure for an ideal narcissistic unity and as a sign of the individual's subjection to the metaphoric and metonymic movement of language within the symbolic order; what Jacques Lacan has identified as "symbolic necessity." I demonstrate this double function of the circle by showing how orality in Dickens's work belongs to a chain of images that include pretty lips, rings, necklaces, fur ringed boots, as well as the grinding wheels and gears of the legal system. As Dickens's career progresses, the novels become more and more haunted by the sense that the magic circle of personal fantasy is inhabited by the violent, whirling motion of the law and language. My argument culminates in readings of A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations which show how male masochism in Dickens's novels is not so much a negation of paternal power and privilege as it is a consequence of the latter's introjection within the subject as fantasy, a fantasy in which the subject is fastened, as in Pip's fever dream, to "a vast engine, clashing and whirling over a gulf."
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Literature, English.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; English
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Zwinger, Lynda

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleIxion's wheel: Masculinity and the figure of the circle in the novels of Charles Dickensen_US
dc.creatorDryden, Jonathan Norton, 1962-en_US
dc.contributor.authorDryden, Jonathan Norton, 1962-en_US
dc.date.issued1997en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation investigates through a close reading of four novels--The Pickwick Papers, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations--the way in which masculinity and authorial subjectivity in Dickens's novels are bound to the figure of the circle, an image which functions both as a figure for an ideal narcissistic unity and as a sign of the individual's subjection to the metaphoric and metonymic movement of language within the symbolic order; what Jacques Lacan has identified as "symbolic necessity." I demonstrate this double function of the circle by showing how orality in Dickens's work belongs to a chain of images that include pretty lips, rings, necklaces, fur ringed boots, as well as the grinding wheels and gears of the legal system. As Dickens's career progresses, the novels become more and more haunted by the sense that the magic circle of personal fantasy is inhabited by the violent, whirling motion of the law and language. My argument culminates in readings of A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations which show how male masochism in Dickens's novels is not so much a negation of paternal power and privilege as it is a consequence of the latter's introjection within the subject as fantasy, a fantasy in which the subject is fastened, as in Pip's fever dream, to "a vast engine, clashing and whirling over a gulf."en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectLiterature, English.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEnglishen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorZwinger, Lyndaen_US
dc.identifier.proquest9729515en_US
dc.identifier.bibrecord.b34819381en_US
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