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Writing a novel: The Golden Nautilis. Reprising Middlemarch: plural intertextualities in the creation of a neo-Victorian palimpsest

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posted on 2023-08-30, 20:29 authored by Paul Pattison
Three broad aspects of prose writing were investigated to inform the process of writing novels. Firstly, modes of narrating novels were examined, namely: traditional omniscient narration, contemporary omniscient narration and first person character narration. Secondly, Neo-Victorianism was critiqued to establish its conventions and place amongst established genres. Thirdly, the adaption of literary classics into contemporary novels was explored. This process was investigated by rewriting George Eliot’s ‘Middlemarch’ (1872) as a contemporary novel: ‘The Golden Nautilus’ (2019). These three aspects were investigated by reinterpreting ‘Middlemarch’ (1872). By recasting Eliot’s narrator, modes of narrating contemporary novels were established. Writing ‘The Golden Nautilus’ (2019) enabled experimentation with narrative modes to create knowledge about writing novels. By writing a Neo-Victorian novel, it was possible to engage in critical debate on the genre. Knowledge about Neo-Victorianism was explored. By adapting a literary classic like ‘Middlemarch’ (1872) the process and purpose of adaptation were considered. The results are a novel and critical essay about these aspects. Firstly, it can be seen that traditional omniscient narration is a prototype for contemporary narration although it has been replaced by contemporary modes which suit present-day readers. Secondly, it is evident that Neo-Victorian fiction is a vibrant new genre which observes the Victorians in an original way. Finally, it is clear that rewrites of literary classics are enjoyable novels which reverently restore antique texts whilst connecting contemporary texts with the great tradition of writing novels. In conclusion, ‘The Golden Nautilus’ (2019) is an innovative and original piece of creative fiction which explores the three elements of this investigation. It is a rewrite of a literary classic and a Neo-Victorian novel with an innovative narrative mode.



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