The other Gissing : short stories, essays and miscellaneous works
thesisposted on 15.12.2014, 10:37 by Barbara. Rawlinson
The purpose of this thesis is to demonstrate how, over three separate phases, George Gissing transformed his relatively unremarkable early short stories into the uniquely individualistic tales that elevated his work in the eighteen nineties to the front rank of realistic short fiction.;Chapters one and two relate to Gissing's first venture into short fiction whilst living in America, which is notable for its accumulation of important themes that the author carried forward and repeatedly adapted to reappear in his later work. In order to establish its impact on subsequent work in terms of political and philosophical influence, chapter three studies the writer's non-fictional output following his return to England, while chapters four and five cover the same period with regard to his second phase of short fiction, focusing on causality as the dominating theme at this time.;The role of realism in Gissing's short work is addressed in chapter six and in chapter seven its application is demonstrated by means of an overview of the author's third phase of the genre. Chapter eight focuses on Gissing's writings on the work of Charles Dickens, while chapter nine follows a similar analytical pattern to chapters two and five. At this stage it is evident that the author's interest in the concept of causality as the major force in his short work has been overtaken by a more challenging preoccupation with the human psyche, thus introducing philosophical, sociological and psychological overtones to the writer's work. The final chapter aims to draw together all the threads that combined to establish Gissing as a major contributor to late nineteenth-century realism in the field of short fiction.