Eavesdropping in the Novel from Austen to Proust investigates human curiosity and its representation in eavesdropping scenes in nineteenth-century English and French novels. Ann Gaylin argues that eavesdropping dramatizes a primal human urge to know and offers a paradigm of narrative transmission and reception of information among characters, narrators and readers. Gaylin sheds light on the social and psychological effects of the nineteenth-century rise of information technology and accelerated flow of information, as manifested in the anxieties about - and delight in - displays of private life and its secrets. Analysing eavesdropping in Austen, Balzac, Collins, Dickens and Proust, Gaylin demonstrates the flexibility of the scene to produce narrative complication or resolution; to foreground questions of gender and narrative agency; to place the debates of privacy and publicity within the literal and metaphoric spaces of the nineteenth-century novel. This 2003 study will be of interest to scholars of nineteenth-century English and European literature.
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(228mm x 152mm x 15mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - Ann Gaylin
Ann Gaylin is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Yale University. She has published articles on Wilkie Collins and Proust. Her articles have appeared in Texas Studies in Literature and Language and The Cincinnati Romance Review.