« The Higher Inward Life » George Eliot’s Middlemarch


  • Georges Letissier
  • Langue anglaise
  • 252 pages
  • ISBN : 978-2-84016-378-7
  • Date de publication : 2020

Rupture de stock

Middlemarch, roman absolu de l’époque victorienne, dont il condense les innombrables facettes. L’érudition déployée ne détourne jamais l’attention du lecteur emporté par un croisement d’intrigues à rebondissements. George Eliot confronte l’un au multiple en permanence; une communauté tissée de destins, une rumeur nourrie de voix singulières et l’obsession de l’origine unique dans le foisonnement d’un univers post-darwinien etc. Cette étude ancrée dans l’Histoire met en avant des pistes interprétatives ultra contemporaines: la chronique, la poétique des objets et l’éthique, avant de se conclure par les réécritures — After Eliot.

Informations complémentaires

Poids 0,366 kg
Dimensions 17 × 23 cm


Chapter I
“The Higher Inward Life” (Bk. I, ch. 2, p. 21)

The genesis of a literary project

Sketchy guidelines

The quarry for Middlemarch

From the notes to the fiction

Eliot’s revisions of her manuscripts

Close analysis of some revisions in Chapter 81 

Chapter II
Eliot and the Victorian novel’s generic plurality

A Humble Form: the Chronicle

Individualising plots and multiplotting

Eliot’s Middlemarch and genre criticism

The Whole and the parts: George Eliot’s “Notes on Form in Art”

Middlemarch: a “Classic Realist Text”?

Science in Middlemarch and Middlemarch as science

Chapter III
“The stealthy convergence of human lots” (Bk. I, Ch. 7, p. 61)


Book I: Midland and Middlemarch    62

Book II: “Every limit is a beginning as well as an ending” (Finale, p. 779)

Book III: Optic and Vision

Book IV: “Interlacement” (Ch. 35, p. 314) and “interlacings” (Ch. 36, p. 325)

Chapter IV
Towards Moral Sympathy

Book V: Reverberating Echoes and Personal Integrity

Book VI: Materialism, Spiritualism and Lyricism

Book VII: Deeds Travel From Afar

Book VIII: Self-Subduing Acts of Fellowship


Chapter V
From the Woven Cloth to Multidirectional Scratches

The structural function of characters

Egoists and Altruists

Stereoscopic realism

That imagined “otherwise” (Bk. V, Ch. 47, p. 440)

The structural function of metaphors and images

The vulnerability of seeing: Convergence and divergence

Chapter VI
“The family machinery” (Bk. VIII, Ch. 84, p. 765)

Jamming the plot machinery: semi-orphans and natural child

Unlocking the past, the dark side of Middlemarch

 “Family machinery” and the “natural colouring of the whole”

Law as the regulator of “family machinery”

Chapter VII
“Character too is a process and an unfolding” (Bk. II, Ch. 15, p. 140)

Methods of characterization

The choice of amplitude

The analogical method

The contrastive method

A study of provincial life: taxonomy and social clusters

How to class them?

The clerical character 

Physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries

Mental “dioramas” (Bk. V, Ch. 53, p. 490)

‘“A Difficulty Deciding’” (Bk. I, Ch. 3, p. 29): characters and the science
of the mind

Secondary characters

The aesthetic angle on characterisation: paragone or interartistic battle

From painting and the plastic arts to myth-making



Chapter VIII
“Goose and gander” (Bk. IV, Ch. 36, p. 335):
Gender and the Woman Question

A Double Temporal Frame

The Condition of Women and the Issue of Class

The “Nature of Woman”

Towards the Possibility of Gynocentric Reading

Chapter IX
“Inward colloquy” (Bk. II, Ch. 20, p. 189)
and “The town’s talk” (Bk. II, Ch. 21, p. 278)

The narrator’s voice: authoriality and versatility

Juggling with the grammar of “observation, perception and (re)presentation

The narrator’s omnipresence

The narrator’s rhetoric

The narrator’s dialogism

“The town’s talk”

Middlemarch as dialogic, polyphonic milieu

Gossip and rumour mongering

“Inward colloquy”    228

From public speech to psycho-narration

Free indirect style

Conclusion: From Finale to Sequels

Works cited

About the author