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Empty Houses:
Theatrical Failure and the Novel
David Kurnick

Book Description | Reviews
Introduction [in PDF format]


Introduction Interiority and Its Discontents 1
Theater Demetaphorized 1
Theater Dethematized: Spatializations of the Novel 10
The Vocation of Failure 24

Chapter One: Acoustics in the Thackeray Theater 29
"The Play" 29
Trivializing History, or, Domesticity 33
Diminishing Returns: Vanity Fair's Theatricality 42
The Box-Opener: A Note on Becky Sharp 50
Empty House Theatricals: The Wolves and the Lamb 53
In the Recess of Consciousness: Lovel the Widower 56

Chapter Two: George Eliot's Lot 67
Theater and Abstraction 67
Romola, Felix Holt, and the Uses of Inwardness 74
The Spanish Gypsy's Universal Theater 82
Middlemarch, Daniel Deronda, and the Cast of Mind 91

Chapter Three: Henry James's Awkward Stage 105
Other Almost Anyhow 105
The Performance Imaginary: The Other House, 1896 113
The Performance Imaginary II: The Other House, 1909 121
In the Sociable Dusk of The Awkward Age 126
James and His Kind 136
What Does Jamesian Style Want? 144

Chapter Four: Joyce Unperformed 153
Joycean Exposures 153
Epiphany and the Obscene Body 158
Ibsen, Exiles, and the Scene of Sex 167
Backstage at the Library: "Scylla and Charybdis" 178
The Ineluctable Modality of the Legible: "Circe" 183

Epilogue In the Kingdom of Whomever: Baldwin's
Method 192
Notes 207
Index 245

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File created: 4/21/2017

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