Journal Article

THE ANXIETY OF LACK: RE-READING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN REALISM AND SENSATIONALISM

Janice M Allan

in Literature and Theology

Volume 13, issue 3, pages 187-200
Published in print September 1999 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online September 1999 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/13.3.187
THE ANXIETY OF LACK: RE-READING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN REALISM AND SENSATIONALISM

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Allan explores the relationship between realism and sensationalism in a way which suggests that the latter forms a Derndean supplement to the former Arguing that the sensation novel ‘is the first literary genre to foreground the scene and space of writing which is opened at the moment of God's death’, she proceeds to show that not only do the two literary forms represent divergent responses to the death of God as a transcendental signified, but that the critical resistance to sensationalism among realist writers represents a kind of anxiety about realism's internal deficiencies. The reaction of realist writers to sensationalism, Allan argues, ‘is identical to the way in which writing has been treated throughout the history of Western metaphysics’.

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Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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