Fictions of Loss in the Victorian Fin de Siècle: Identity and Empire

By Stephen Arata

British tradition within the Eighties and Eighteen Nineties was once marked through a powerful feel of decline. Fictions of Loss within the Victorian Fin de Siècle examines the ways that perceptions of loss have been solid into archetypal tales that sought to account for the culture's issues and assuage its anxieties. via interpreting the paintings of a variety of writers--from Kipling to Wilde, from Stevenson to Stoker--Stephen Arata exhibits how the nation's dual obsessions with decadence and imperialism grew to become intertwined within the considered the interval.

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Forty four If Dracula is set how full of life races unavoidably displace decaying races, then the genuine probability to Britain in 1897 comes no longer from the moribund Austro-Hungarian or Ottoman empires, yet from the emerging American empire. with out in any respect pushing aside the robust nervousness that the count number produces, we will say that Stoker's realization to Dracula displays his anxiousness on the danger represented through Morris and the United States. Stoker insistently directs our gaze East, all of the whereas in retrospect over his shoulder. it truly is applicable, then, that Morris's dying, now not Dracula's, closes the tale right; acceptable, too, that the disagreement among England and the United States is displaced to the Balkans, routinely the sector the place Western powers performed their struggles with each other ultimately, or by means of proxy. England's triumph is straight away stricken and certified, notwithstanding, by means of Harker's appended "Note," written seven years later. In saying the beginning of his son Quincey, Harker unwittingly calls consciousness to the truth that the positions of vampire and sufferer were reversed. Now it's the count number whose blood is appropriated and remodeled to nourish a faltering race. As Mark Hennelly has spotted, in Quincey Harker flows the blood not just of Jonathan and Mina, yet of Dracula to boot. forty five Little Quincey, who's now not conceived until eventually after Mina beverages the Count's blood, is, furthermore, born at the anniversary of Dracula's and Morris's death. via Roumania, the English race invigorates itself by means of incorporating these racial features had to opposite its personal decline. American power is appropriated in addition, in view that, as Jonathan tells us, Quincey Morris has additionally contributed to his namesake's racial make-up: "His mom holds, i do know, the key trust that a few of our courageous friend's spirit has handed into" their son (449). The "little band of fellows" can therefore leisure guaranteed that the threats to English energy were neutralized on either fronts, East and West, throughout the appropriation of Dracula's blood and Morris's spirit. the rest of Harker's "Note" is taken up with comparable tasks: his account of a go back stopover at to Transylvania, and an apology for the "inauthenticity" of the files comprising the unconventional. those tasks aspect again, in numerous methods, to the 2 genres — go back and forth and Gothic — 130 The sins of empire during which Dracula participates. Harker first relates that he has lately revisited the Carpathians: in the summertime of this yr we made a trip to Transylvania, and went over the previous flooring which used to be, and is, to us so filled with shiny and poor stories. It used to be nearly most unlikely to think that the issues we had noticeable with our personal eyes and heard with our personal ears have been residing truths. each hint of all that have been used to be blotted out. The fortress stood as sooner than, reared excessive above a waste of desolation. (449) In his operating notes, Stoker titled this component of his novel "A Tourist's story. "46 certainly, the textual content turns out to have come complete circle and again securely to its place to begin.

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