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Images of the maker : the artist-character in the English novel, 1837-1944


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Livett, Jennifer(Jennifer Sheila) 1984 , 'Images of the maker : the artist-character in the English novel, 1837-1944', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The title of this thesis, Images of the Maker, has been
chosen to suggest that during the period 1837 to 1944, the
artist-character in the novel emerges as a significant
reflection of the various writers' thoughts about creation, both
artistic and divine. This study looks at artist-characters in
the belief that they can shed light on individual novels and
suggest interesting connections between apparently disparate
Although any discussion which includes the social and
religious placement of the artist-character must take note of
such difficult abstractions as "culture," "aesthetics," and
"metaphysics," the approach through history or philosophy has
been avoided as far as possible. The aim has been to concentrate
on ideas revealed by the texts themselves.
In the first chapter, the artist-character in novels of
the Victorian period is examined. Changes in attitude towards
the artist as Romantic stereotype are shown to be connected with
both Christianity and science.
From the basis of issues established here, Chapter II
discusses Henry James's concern withthe morality of art in its
relation to life. This is seen as central to his artistic
endeavour. The chapter explores the manifestation of this
concern in a variety of artist-characters. The quite different artist-characters of Wells, Bennett,
and Galsworthy, analysed in Chapter III, support the notion of a
split in attitudes at the turn of the century. However, while
there is much in the work of these writers to confirm the
general view of them as philistines, undisturbed by the tensions
which produce the aesthete or naturalist, their approach to the
artist (particularly as architect) shows their concern with the
social relevance of art.
During the discussion in the first three chapters, the
nature of the artist's difficulties in the early twentieth century begins to emerge. This leads to a consideration of the
novels of Forster, Woolf, and Lawrence.
The last chapter, on Joyce Cary's first trilogy, suggests
ways in which an understanding of the artist's transformations
during this period can help to give critical bearings for an
assessment of the post-modernist novel, in which the writer's
struggle with his own creation has been a persistent theme.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Livett, Jennifer(Jennifer Sheila)
Keywords: English fiction, English fiction, Artists in literature, Characters and characteristics in literature
Copyright Holders: The Author
Additional Information:

Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 1986. Bibliography: leaf 232-245

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