The haunted geometries of Sarah Waters's Affinity

Armitt, Lucie and Gamble, Sarah (2006) The haunted geometries of Sarah Waters's Affinity. Textual Practice, 20 (1). pp. 141-159. ISSN 0950-236X

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This essay examines the narrative deception employed in Sarah Waters's Affinity, a novel detailing an elaborate confidence trick that also doublecrosses the reader. Narrated primarily from the point of view of a middle-class prison visitor, Margaret Prior, we learn what she only realizes too late, namely that her own relationship to both the built environment and the various written means by which it is documented is insecure. Despite establishing a panoptical structure, Waters ultimately reveals the relationship between sight and knowledge to be skewed in favour of those whom Victorian middle-class society refuses to see: the criminal, the 'deviant' and the serving-classes. Both a ghost story and not a ghost story (the occult is ultimately debunked in this text), Terry Castle's concept of the apparitional lesbian ultimately offers a framework for our exploration of the relationship between all-female desire, invisibility, and presence in Waters's Affinity © 2006 Taylor & Francis.

Additional Information:Published online: 10 Aug 2006
Keywords:Sarah Waters, English literature
Subjects:Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q320 English Literature
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (English)
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ID Code:11931
Deposited On:28 Oct 2013 11:00

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