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Cloaking the Voice in Silence: Wilkie Collins’s Hide and Seek and the Textual Spectacle

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Title: Cloaking the Voice in Silence: Wilkie Collins’s Hide and Seek and the Textual Spectacle
Author: Dolich, Lindsey
Advisor: Sherman, Deborah
Department: Haverford College. Department of English
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2006
Abstract: Sound is not welcome in Wilkie Collins’ utopic, nameless neighborhood—a “no place,” or more appropriately, a “noiseless place.” Collins’ incredible attention to visual and aural detail in the opening pages of Hide and Seek quickly establishes the dialectic between image and word that becomes like Wordsworth’s “a sense sublime far more deeply interfused” throughout the text. By imaging a soundscape for the reader through his pen, by animating the scene at hand through the written word, Wilkie Collins becomes a metaphorical painter. Hide and Seek’s performance of what I call the “textual spectacle,” in which language may uncover, screen, or “play” with its form and substance, might provide us with an appropriate critical lens for examining these visual and aural structures. Collins’s modality of writing is figured as ekphrasis—the speaking picture, which not only paints the scene, but also paradoxically “mutes” the “unspeakable” sound as that which can only be contained and dissolved in the word. The lacunae left by these silences is a positive absence of sound, a metonymy that appropriately “names” and assigns space for deaf discourse.
Subject: Collins, Wilkie, 1824-1889. Hide and seek
Subject: Collins, Wilkie, 1824-1889 -- Criticism and interpretation
Subject: Silence in literature
Terms of Use: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10066/636

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2006DolichL(Abridged).pdf Abridged Thesis (publicly available) 704.1Kb PDF
2006DolichL.pdf Complete Thesis (Haverford users only) 3.244Mb PDF
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Citation

Dolich, Lindsey. "Cloaking the Voice in Silence: Wilkie Collins’s Hide and Seek and the Textual Spectacle". 2006. Available electronically from http://hdl.handle.net/10066/636.

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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/ Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/

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