TRANSTEXTUAL REFERENCES AND THEIR ROLE IN MIDDLEMARCHBY GEORGE ELIOT

Agata Buda, University of Technology and Humanities in Radom, Poland;     Abstract: Although the novel Middlemarch is the example of a traditional, nineteenth-century English novel with its third-person narration and popular subjects (gender roles, realism of a Victorian world etc.), one may find much wider context George Eliot used to present her idea of a society in nineteenth-century England. It is the context of widely understood transtextuality, which, according to Gérard Genette, takes different forms and roles in a primary text. The work by Eliot contains mainly a great number of intertextual references, among them numerous allusions to classical texts of English literature, as well as metatextual relations concerning comments on both Victorian and ancient culture. The paper aims at presenting those transtextual ideas which seem to be the most crucial for deeper understanding of the world presented in Middlemarch. These ideas appear not only to enrich the language of the novel but also, and above all, to both praise and criticise the world depicted from a perspective of previous epochs.

Key words: transtextuality, Victorian novel, antiquity, realism

 

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