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Expulsion and the Nineteenth-Century NovelThe Scapegoat in English Realist Fiction$
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Michiel Heyns

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198182702

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198182702.001.0001

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Conclusion: To Be Continued …

Conclusion: To Be Continued …

(p.269) Conclusion: To Be Continued …
Expulsion and the Nineteenth-Century Novel

Michiel Heyns

Oxford University Press

The novel shares with all forms of narrative the potential to structure our desires as well as to reflect a reality assumed to be independent of those desires, and the relative contributions of these two components will vary from narrative to narrative and novel to novel. The realist fiction, in short, is a more versatile creature than is allowed for in the suspicions of some modern critics. It is through this capacity that the novel may help to liberate themselves from their own narratives. Robert Scholes's anti-narrative may in fact be a component of narrative, to the extent that any narrative contains within itself a more or less implicit questioning of its own drift. The literary scapegoat, by one reading the victim of the narrative, is by another the protagonist of the anti-narrative. The narrative confesses its embarrassment by silencing the scapegoat. Unsurprisingly, Joseph Conrad and Henry James are most conscious of this.

Keywords:   reality, realist fiction, narrative, Robert Scholes, anti-narrative, literary scapegoat, Joseph Conrad, Henry James

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