Research Programs: Summer Stipends

Period of Performance

6/1/2003 - 7/31/2003

Funding Totals

$5,000.00 (approved)
$5,000.00 (awarded)

The Endangered Voice: Victorian Fiction and the Myth of the Storyteller

FAIN: FT-51243-03

Ivan Kreilkamp
Trustees of Indiana University (Bloomington, IN 47405-7000)

This study challenges familiar conceptions of the relationship between print and speech in Victorian and twentieth-century culture by studying the history of voice from the 1830s to the present day. I analyze the Victorian novel as a genre deeply engaged with vocal performances and transcriptions: from political speeches, governesses's tales, shorthand manuals, and staged authorial performances in early- and mid-century, to mechanically-reproducible voice at the end of the century. And against a longstanding critical consensus that where the novel rises, the oral storyteller falls, I argue that the much-lamented storyteller has instead existed primarily as a fiction within the literary form that is supposed to have killed him off.