Attention Span and Writing Process in Victorian Sensation Novels and Their Theatrical Adaptations
  • Release Date : 27 September 2021
  • Publisher : Unknown
  • Genre : Uncategorized
  • Pages : 122 pages
  • ISBN 13 : 1369795599
Ratings: 4
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Download or read book entitled Attention Span and Writing Process in Victorian Sensation Novels and Their Theatrical Adaptations by author: Leilani Serafin which was release on 27 September 2021 and published by Unknown with total page 122 pages . This book available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle Format. Although the novel is often considered the dominant literary form during the Victorian period, it evolved in the context of the theater. This dissertation examines the popular genre of sensation fiction in relation to the many theatrical adaptations that sensation novels inspired. Sensation novels are famous for plot devices involving mistaken identity and character doubles, but little attention has been devoted to their generic double, the theatrical adaptation. Because theatrical adaptations generated income for their adaptors, novelists and other dramatic adaptors often competed for profits, making the production of these adaptations an intriguing mirror of the contentious doubling and mistaken identity in sensation novels themselves. Thus, this dissertation argues that the specific questions of identity endemic to the plots of sensation novels reflect the issues of creation, imitation, and adaptation that govern their production. To explore this mirroring process, I read three best-selling sensation novels in the context of their theatrical adaptations: Charles Reade’s It Is Never Too Late to Mend, Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret, and Ouida’s Under Two Flags. In each of these novels and its theatrical context, I find an extended discussion of a unique construction of Victorian attention span—a relevant concept for a discussion of theatrical adaptation, given the distinct types of attention called for by a novel versus a play. It Is Never Too Late to Mend and the two plays associated with it advance the attentive model of industriousness to argue that focused attention can turn thieves (the thieves in the texts as well as the literary thieves who illegally adapted Reade’s novel) into authors, thereby solidifying intellectual property rights. Opposing Reade’s ideal of industriousness, Lady Audley’s Secret explores attentive patterns associated with bewilderment and absorption, Braddon’s process of juggling three simultaneous writing projects involves a type of authorial multitasking that ironizes Robert Audley’s bewildered absorption. Prominent lawsuits concerning both the dramatic adaptations of It Is Never Too Late to Mend and Lady Audley’s Secret further demonstrate the authorial multitasking that interfered with conventional ideals of focused literary authorship. Finally, Ouida structures Under Two Flags around the Renaissance concept of sprezzatura, a performative nonchalance that overlaps intriguingly with Victorian theories of “natural acting.” Each of these sensation novels advances a unique vision of attention span, and this dissertation examines how each of these attentive modes—industriousness, bewilderment, absorption, and sprezzatura—interacts with the contexts under which the novels were produced and adapted for the theater.