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Regulated Immersion : Historicising Ironic Effects in Pride and Prejudice
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. Örebro University. (Berättande Liv Mening)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7232-2832
2013 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [sv]

This paper examines parodic features of Pride and Prejudice through immersion theory (Marie-Laure Ryan), against a background of the reading culture of the 1790s – with reference to novels by Regina Maria Roche, William Beckford, and Elizabeth Gunning.

In immersion theory, reader involvement is culturally situated. In my study, Roche’s Children of the Abbey (1786) represents the popular novel’s immersive appeal and Beckford’s Modern Novel Writing (1796) a contemptuous distancing from absorptive reading. Gunning’s epistolary Gipsy Countess (1799) is an interesting intermediary with a see-saw effect; it parodies a range of styles - sentimental, informative, and didactic. In this paper, these novels provide a context for Austen’s parody.  

Two generic traits frame the storyworld of Pride and Prejudice: firstly, conduct-book sermonizing – as in Mary’s elaboration on the title’s theme. Secondly, farce envelopes the storyworld - the dialogue at cross-purposes between the Bennets that takes us into it, and Lady Catherine’s perspective of the new Darcies that propels us out of it. The shifts between such crude parodic gestures and the subtle mockery of the principal characters create a regulated immersion – merging immersivity and ironic distance, as I argue in this paper. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013.
Keyword [en]
Immersion theory, Free indirect discourse, irony
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-50033OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-50033DiVA: diva2:924690
Conference
Pride and Prejudice Conference, Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, UK, June 21-23, 2013
Available from: 2016-04-28 Created: 2016-04-28 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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