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"THE FRATERNITY OF OLD LAMPS": SOME OBSERVATIONS ON GEORGE MEREDITH'S PROSE STYLE

Margaret Harris
Style
Vol. 7, No. 3 (Fall 1973), pp. 271-293
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42946111
Page Count: 23
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
"THE FRATERNITY OF OLD LAMPS": SOME OBSERVATIONS ON GEORGE MEREDITH'S PROSE STYLE
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Abstract

Meredith's prose style has frequently been attacked for its elaborateness and obscurity, but critics have failed to realise that he uses a variety of styles in functional and organic ways. An analysis of the notoriously difficult opening chapter of his late novel, One of Our Conquerors, paying particular attention to shifts of point of view as well as the narrator's stylistic ventriloquism, shows Meredith's characteristic techniques in operation, projecting a scene through his characters' consciousness. Comparisons with the treatment of similar situations by James in The Golden Bowl and Virginia Woolf in Mrs. Dalloway emphasise the distinctiveness and validity of Meredith's tactic of persistent authorial presence. Statements in the course of One of Our Conquerors indicate that Meredith is deliberate and conscious in adopting a multiplicity of modes to achieve particular effects in his fiction.

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