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Charles Finney's The Circus of Dr. Lao

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Date Issued:
2010
Summary:
Charles Finney's The Circus of Dr. Lao, published in 1936, has been widely read in the last eighty years and has influenced significant authors in the field of fantasy, yet it has been examined in just three critical studies in that time. This study examines Finney's novel as an epistemological fantasy, a heretofore undefined term that precipitates an epistemological crisis of knowing and certainty. The novel opens a way for fantasy literature to establish itself in a Modernist landscape by foregrounding the marvelous and extraordinary knowledge that lies just outside the realm of human experience. Finney presents Dr. Lao's circus as a surrogate model of success, and while many of the characters in the novel are unable to accept the truth offered them by the beings of fantasy, the author uses their experiences to satirize the complacencies he witnessed upon returning to America from the Far East in the 1930s.
Title: Charles Finney's The Circus of Dr. Lao: an epistemological fantasy.
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Name(s): Creed, Daniel B.
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Department of English
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Issued: 2010
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Physical Form: electronic
Extent: vi, 58 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: Charles Finney's The Circus of Dr. Lao, published in 1936, has been widely read in the last eighty years and has influenced significant authors in the field of fantasy, yet it has been examined in just three critical studies in that time. This study examines Finney's novel as an epistemological fantasy, a heretofore undefined term that precipitates an epistemological crisis of knowing and certainty. The novel opens a way for fantasy literature to establish itself in a Modernist landscape by foregrounding the marvelous and extraordinary knowledge that lies just outside the realm of human experience. Finney presents Dr. Lao's circus as a surrogate model of success, and while many of the characters in the novel are unable to accept the truth offered them by the beings of fantasy, the author uses their experiences to satirize the complacencies he witnessed upon returning to America from the Far East in the 1930s.
Identifier: 649692065 (oclc), 2683122 (digitool), FADT2683122 (IID), fau:3480 (fedora)
Note(s): by Daniel B. Creed.
Thesis (M.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2010.
Includes bibliography.
Electronic reproduction. Boca Raton, Fla., 2010. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Subject(s): Finney, Charles G. (Charles Grandison), 1905-1984
Symbolism in literature
Knowledge, Theory of, in literature
Fantasy fiction, American -- Criticism and interpretation
Postmodernism (Literature)
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/FAU/2683122
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Owner Institution: FAU