The reconstruction of authorial identity in contemporary author fictions: A.S Byatt’s Possession, David Lodge’s Author, Author and Maggie Gee’s Virginia Woolf in Manhattan

Koç, Nesrin
This study analyses Possession (1990) by A.S Byatt, Author, Author (2004) by David Lodge and Virginia Woolf in Manhattan (2014) by Maggie Gee as examples of contemporary author fictions. By revisiting historical authors such as Victorian poets, Henry James and Virginia Woolf and juxtaposing these authors with contemporary author figures, these novels present a multi-layered discussion of authorship practices across centuries. The three novels analysed here all deal with the anxiety governing the work of the contemporary author: Is the Author dead? A.S Byatt challenges the death of the author through her Neo-Victorian tropes while David Lodge claims the authorial power as he negotiates the anxiety of influence he has over Henry James. Gee, on the other hand, establishes authorial power through imagining her heroine in a completely different setting as opposed to the historical reality. Due to the fact that these three authors are also novelists-critics, their author fictions also address the ambivalence caused by this double consciousness. Byatt, Lodge and Gee celebrate the author as a creator, an intellectual, a critic and a writer. Adopting a post-postmodern and reconstructive methodology, this study asserts that in contemporary author fictions, the authorial identity is brought back to the textual world.


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Citation Formats
N. Koç, “The reconstruction of authorial identity in contemporary author fictions: A.S Byatt’s Possession, David Lodge’s Author, Author and Maggie Gee’s Virginia Woolf in Manhattan,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2021.