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矛盾与焦虑《英伦魔法师》的哥特元素研究

作者:yibilw 日期:2021-11-13 分类:外语论文

Introduction

A. Jane Smiley and Her Works
Born on September 26, 1949 in Los Angeles, United States, Jane Smiley isuniversally considered as one of the most prominent female writers in contemporaryAmerican literature. As a member of American Academy of Arts and Letters and theAmerican Academy of Arts and Sciences, she is a rather creative and prolific writerand has produced numerous works, including novels, short story, non-fiction booksand young adult novels. Jane Smiley has won plenty of awards for her works. In1992 her most well-known novel A Thousand Acres won the Pulitzer Prize and theNational Book Critics Circle Award and The All-True Travels and Adventures ofLidie Newton won the Spur Award for Best Novel of the West in 1999. Apart fromthose, her also won some awards for her other works. Her short stories won the O.Henry Awards, The Age of Grief and Moo were nominated for the National BookCritics Circle Award, Horse Heaven was the short-listed for the Orange Prize, and AtParadise Gate won Friends of American Writers Prize.As it is universally known, Jane Smiley is adept to explore the intricaterelationships between family members, lovers and friends. Thus, Smiley’s works areoften give concern about families and the conflict between them. Regarded as a “truestoryteller”, Smiley was remarked by Paula Chin in People that she “has an unerring,unsettling ability to capture the rhythms of family life gone askew.” (Chin 49)Smiley’s first novel Barn Blind published in 1980 explores the theme of family dailylife, which depicts the life of Kate Karlson, a mother, who dominant her fourchildren. In her following work, At Paradise Gate, Smiley presents the troublebetween family members again and it gives a picture of the life of elderly AnnaRobinson after the death of her husband. Smiley’s third novel, Duplicate Keys, amurder mystery novel which sets in Manhattan and also share a concern for familyrelations. It is worthy to be mentioned that the novel is Smiley’s only book set in city.In 1987, Smiley produced a collection of five stores and a novella, The Age of Grief,which describes the joys and sorrows of married life. The following novel, TheGreenlanders, is described by Howard Norman as a “prodigiously detailed, hauntingnovel.” (Norman 39) In this novel, Smiley also focuses on the theme of family lifeand demonstrates the life of the farmer Gunnar Asgeirsson and his family. In herwork, Moo, Smiley is not concern for the family relationship but depict the campuslife. In her following work, The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton,Smiley began to return to historical fiction. This novel is a romance set in 19thcentury in which the character goes on a journey. Smiley credits Mark Twain'sHuckleberry Finn and Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin as the progenitorsof this novel. Smiley’s Horse Heaven remarked by Maxine Kumin in the Women'sReview of Books as “exuberant, often hilarious”, (Kumin 11) which conveys thatSmiley’s interest in developing new fictional sphere.
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B. Literature Review
Nancy Coffey Hefernan commented that in her works “Smiley questions how,on a larger scale, the unique, unstable, private interactions of a family serve as thebasis for large, stable, public institutions. Her work is an attempt to tell the truthabout these complex and obscure relationships.” (Hefernan 292) In A ThousandAcres, Smiley also tries to convey the deep motivation and quest behind the familymembers. Since it published, A Thousand Acres has attracted many critics andscholars’ comparatively attention. Therefore, there have a lot of researches been doneat abroad and home.In the west, some scholars research A Thousand Acres from the perspective offeminism and eco-feminism.

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