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"And yet God has not said a word!": Robert Browning and the romantic killer in literature

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Date Issued:
2004
Summary:
Robert Browning's dramatic monologues often characterize the darker aspect of romantic love through speakers who demonstrate their devotion to violence. Exploring the innovations in discourse, Browning gives his narrators voices that allow them to speak from an ancient literary tradition. For Browning's speakers, words make the silencing of the lover either the act of ultimate devotion or the result of disappointed expectations. The narrator speaks of the absence of God, as when Porphyria's lover holds her body to him: "and yet God has not said a word!" With the poet's strong speech---in all his attractiveness, his destructive display of love and his dismissal of God---Browning has helped to create a discourse that has sculpted the literary force of the romantic killer. Three novelists in particular employ the literary force of Browning's experiments: Anne Rice's The Vampire Lestat, Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho and Thomas Harris's Hannibal Lecter novels. Intertextual comparisons among these narratives delineate how Robert Browning's innovation of the seductive antihero has persisted in literature.
Title: "And yet God has not said a word!": Robert Browning and the romantic killer in literature.
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Name(s): Burns-Davies, Erin.
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Faraci, Mary, Thesis advisor
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Issued: 2004
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 58 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: Robert Browning's dramatic monologues often characterize the darker aspect of romantic love through speakers who demonstrate their devotion to violence. Exploring the innovations in discourse, Browning gives his narrators voices that allow them to speak from an ancient literary tradition. For Browning's speakers, words make the silencing of the lover either the act of ultimate devotion or the result of disappointed expectations. The narrator speaks of the absence of God, as when Porphyria's lover holds her body to him: "and yet God has not said a word!" With the poet's strong speech---in all his attractiveness, his destructive display of love and his dismissal of God---Browning has helped to create a discourse that has sculpted the literary force of the romantic killer. Three novelists in particular employ the literary force of Browning's experiments: Anne Rice's The Vampire Lestat, Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho and Thomas Harris's Hannibal Lecter novels. Intertextual comparisons among these narratives delineate how Robert Browning's innovation of the seductive antihero has persisted in literature.
Identifier: 9780496256587 (isbn), 13140 (digitool), FADT13140 (IID), fau:10001 (fedora)
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Subject(s): Browning, Robert,--1812-1889--Influence
Browning, Robert--1812-1889--Criticism and interpretation
Violence in literature
Narration (Rhetoric)
Rice, Anne,--1941---Vampire Lestat
Ellis, Brett Easton--American Psycho
Harris, Thomas,--1940---Criticism and interpretation
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fcla/dt/13140
Sublocation: Digital Library
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Owner Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.