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Italy and George Gissing: A Geocritical Approach

  • Luigi Gussago

Victorian novelist George Gissing (1857-1903) was a devotee of ancient Roman culture and visited Italy three times between 1888 and 1897. In spite of this admiration, his relationship with Italy was problematic, largely due to personal mishaps. In light of these conflicting views, my essay considers Gissing’s portrayals of mostly Southern Italian locations through his fiction, letters, and travelogues. The focus lies here not so much on the narrator but on the narrated space, with Bertrand Westphal’s notion of “geocriticism” at its theoretical core. Far from being a utopian haven, Gissing’s Italy emerges as a trans-cultural meeting point where the perception of an “interiorised place” can reshape reality, alter horizons, and redefine established values.

  • Keywords:
  • Geocriticism,
  • Gissing,
  • Place,
  • Spatiotemporality,
  • Westphal,
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Luigi Gussago

La Trobe University, Australia - ORCID: 0000-0002-2448-3743

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  2. Bakhtin, Mikhail Mikhaĭlovich. 1981. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays, edited by Michael Holquis, translated by Carly Emerson, Michael Holquist. Austin: University of Texas Press.
  3. Bakhtin, Mikhail Mikhaĭlovich. 2012. Sobranie sočinenij, T. 3, Teorija romana (1930-1961), edited by S.G. Bocharov, V.V. Kozhinov. Moskva: Yazyki Slavyanskikh Kultur.
  4. Coustillas, Pierre, and Colin Partridge, edited by. 1995. George Gissing: The Critical Heritage. London-New York: Routledge.
  5. Findlater, Jane H. 1904. “The Spokesman of Despair.” The Living Age, volume CCXLIII, 733-741. Boston: The Living Age Company. Reprinted in Pierre Coustillas, and Colin Partridge, edited by. 1995. George Gissing: The Critical Heritage, 456-466. London-New York: Routledge.
  6. Gissing, George. 1931 (1927). Letters of George Gissing to Members of His Family, compiled by Algernon Gissing, and Ellen Gissing. London: Constable & Company Ltd.
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  10. Gissing, George. 1993. The Collected Letters of George Gissing, 4 (1889-1891), edited by Paul F. Mattheisen, Arthur C. Young, and Pierre Coustillas. Athens, Ohio University Press.
  11. Gissing, George. 1995. The Collected Letters of George Gissing, 7 (1897-1899), edited by Paul F. Mattheisen, Arthur C. Young, and Pierre Coustillas. Athens: Ohio University Press.
  12. Gissing, George. 1996 (1901). By the Ionian Sea. Marlboro: The Marlboro Press.
  13. Hutcheon, Rebecca. 2021. “Mapping Gissing’s Chronotopes from Text to Code to Graph.” The Gissing Journal 55, 4: 22-40.
  14. Orwell, George. 1943. “ ‘Not Enough Money’. A Sketch of George Gissing.” Tribune, 2 April, 1943.
  15. Orwell, George. 1960. “George Gissing.” London Magazine 7, 6: 36-43.
  16. Roberts, Morley. 1912. The Private Life of Henry Maitland. A Record Dictated by J.H. London: Eveleigh Nash.
  17. Schank Daley, Norma L. 1942. “Some reflections on the Scholarship of George Gissing.” The Classical Journal 38, 1: 21-30.
  18. Swinnerton, Frank. 1912. George Gissing: A Critical Study. London: Martin Secker.
  19. Tally, Robert T. Jr. 2011. “Translator’s Preface. The Timely Emergence of Geocriticism.” In Bertrand Westphal. Geocriticism: Real and Fictional Spaces, translated by Robert T. Tally Jr, ix-xiii. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
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  21. Wells Herbert G. 1904. “George Gissing: An Impression.” Eclectic Magazine of Foreign Literature, Science, and Art 143, 5: 580-587. First appeared in Monthly Review 16, 47: 160-172, 1904.
  22. Westphal, Bertrand. 2000. “Pour une approche géocritique des textes.” in La Géocritique mode d’emploi, sous la direction de Bertrand Westphal, 9-40. Limoges: PULIM. https://sflgc.org/bibliotheque/westphal-bertrand-pour-une-approche-geocritique-des-textes/
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Chapter Information

Chapter Title

Italy and George Gissing: A Geocritical Approach

Authors

Luigi Gussago

Language

English

DOI

10.36253/978-88-5518-597-4.10

Peer Reviewed

Publication Year

2022

Copyright Information

© 2022 Author(s)

Content License

CC BY 4.0

Metadata License

CC0 1.0

Table of Contents

Book Title

Rewriting and Rereading the XIX and XX-Century Canons

Book Subtitle

Offerings for Annamaria Pagliaro

Editors

Brian Zuccala, Samuele Grassi

Peer Reviewed

Publication Year

2022

Copyright Information

© 2022 Author(s)

Content License

CC BY 4.0

Metadata License

CC0 1.0

Publisher Name

Firenze University Press

DOI

10.36253/978-88-5518-597-4

eISBN (pdf)

978-88-5518-597-4

eISBN (xml)

978-88-5518-598-1

Series Title

Biblioteca di Studi di Filologia Moderna

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2420-8361

10

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