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1 R ARDATH AS A REVISION OF HYPATIA By GARETH HADYK DELODDER A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2013
2 2013 Gareth Hadyk DeLodder
3 To my parents, my uncle and aunt, and others who have lent a hand along the way
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to acknowledge the guidance, direction, and feedback from Professor s Pamela Gilbert and Chris Snodgrass, as well as the support from family and friends that helped to make this project possible.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 6 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTI ON ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 8 Summary of Hypatia and Ardath ................................ ................................ ............... 9 Thumos ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 14 2 KINGSLEY AND DEGENER ATION ................................ ................................ ........ 20 3 ................................ ................................ ......... 27 4 CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 40 REFERENCE LIST ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 44 BIOGRAPHIC AL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ............................ 47
6 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts R ARDATH AS A REVISION OF HYPATIA By Gareth Hadyk DeLodder August 2013 Chair: Pamela Gilbert Major: English Published to wi Hypatia : or New Foes with an Old Face Ardath : the Story of a Dead Self Muscular Christi an. A closer examination of masculinity in Ardath however, reveals a number of cracks in a rigid, muscular construction throughout the novel. These older standard: an anx iety that raises a number of questions as to why, even as she worked so assiduously to emulate Hypatia responding to these questions, this ess ay explores some of the fault lines between the theoretical constructions of masculinity, a historical contextualization of scientific and psychological treatment of degeneration, and close readings of both texts specifically the language that Kingsley and Corelli employ to represent masculine energy. s teleological approach to manhood is
7 splintered. The division, along with its suggestions of repression and the activity and escaped her reviewers towards the end of the nineteenth century, and has gone mostly unnoticed in critical studies at present.
8 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Published to widespread popularity almost forty years after Hypatia: or New Foes with an Old Face Ardath: the Story of a Dead Self (1889) bears a m uscular Christian. 1 In her novel, Corelli seems at pains to configure her protagonist as a Kingsleyan hero, often alluding to or explicitly referencing characteristics that Kingsley from Hypatia Westward Ho!, and others. 2 A closer examination of masculinity in Ardath however, reveals a number of cracks in the rigid, muscular construction throughout the older standard: an anxiety that raises a number of questions as to why, even as she worked so assiduously to emulate Hypatia d, Corelli responding to these questions, this essay will explore some of the fault lines between lli revises 1 A term that finds its origins in T C Sandars The Saturday Review (February 21, it is that of spreading the knowledge and fostering the love of a muscular Christianity. His ideal is a man who fears God and can walk a thousand miles in a thousand hours who, in the language which Mr. Kingsley doctor a horse, and twist a poker around his From Hall, Donald E. Muscular Christianity: Embodying the Victorian Age Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1994. Print page 7. 2 From Corelli, Marie. Ardath, the Story of a Dead Self [Kindle Version] New York, A.L. s.n.Web 102, and 6146.
9 While bringing Corelli into conversation with Kingsley might seem an odd pairing at first glance, Ardath and Hypatia have enough in common narratively to support a dialogic re ading, especially when considering the remarkable popularity that both enjoyed in the second half of the nineteenth century. 3 After a brief synopsis of both novels, I will outline the theoretical foundation for this essay, paying particular attention to th 4 in Hypatia as a frame for an examination of how Corelli interprets 5 in Ardath The collocation of both novels is crucial to my argument: reading Ardath through Hypatia brings into relief many similarities between two very different authors in their respective novels, while simulta neously highlighting some of the changes in the characterization of Victorian masculinity between the years that Kingsley and Corelli were publishing. Summary of Hypatia and Ardath Hypatia life and death. readers in an overly didactic preface and postscript leaves open how one is to interpret ry. As critic Andrew Sanders Hypatia 3 Ardath Hypatia had reached its thirteenth edition by 1881. 4 From Adams, James Eli. Dandies and Desert Saints: Styles of Victorian Masculinity Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1995, Print, 1. 5 The Secret Power [Kindle Version]. s.n.Web, 2616
10 6 This ideological bent leaves its mark on the troublesome disadvantage. He dare not tell how evil people were; he will not be 7 Such an i mpediment hardly deters him from some of his more lurid descriptions of violence in the novel, however, and the moral spaces he proposes are not as amorphous as is couched here. At its heart, Hypatia is a tale about religious and social conflict: the epon ymous heroine, a devout priestess and eventually her life, as Christian mobs, Goths, and Jews contend with one another in the city streets. Several notable male figu res are involved as well, including the archetypal hero figure, Philammon; one of the more mercurial characters, Raphael the Jew; and a group of hyper masculine, warrior Goths. Philammon is a typical Masculine Christian in both stature and in characteriza tion. As the novel opens, he is leaving his closeted religious community to travel to the city in order to see the world (in detailing his reasons for leaving he tells his 8 doing so ultimately confronts a corrupt church, a philosophical skepticism that forces him to question his faith, and a deeply ingrained, inculcated misogyny. He falls in love with Hypatia upon that 9 however, it is a love that 6 From Sanders, Andrew. The Victorian Historical Novel, 1840 1880. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1979. Print, 123. 7 From Kingsley, Charles. Hypatia [Kindle Version] s.n.Web 28 35 8 Ibid ., 283 89.
11 hybridizes her role as a mother figure and as a sexual object. She rails against Christianity and its influence in Alexandrian politics, instead instructing many wil ling young men in the art of philosophy, argumentation, and obeisance to the old gods. She is a metaphysical idealist, and Kingsley is careful to fashion her so that she is a sympathetic character to the reader. The calm and measured approach with which he characterizes her is sharply contrasted with his acerbic portrayal of the Church in its infancy a sentiment that was likely the root of contemporary criticism that led Edward 10 corruption leads its hierarchy to adopt politicized and violent measures: they forcibly expel the Jewish population, precipitate riots in the street, and savagely execute Hypatia in a gruesome sequence in one of the final scenes. Kingsley ends the novel by order before his death; Raphael, who undergoes one of the more startling conversio ns in the novel, is killed at the very close; and the Goths, after pillaging a number of African villages and churches, are themselves destroyed. Ardath is a less sophisticated novel than Hypatia in terms of its narrative and historical approach, although Corelli is as explicit as Kingsley in the didactic trajectory of her novel. The memorable opening of Ardath recalls elements of Lytton, but is more clearly aligned with Anne 9 Ibid. 262 66. 10 From Uffelman, Larry K. "Kingsley's Hypatia : Revisions in Context." Nineteenth Century Literature 41.1 (1986): pp. 87 96. Web 87.
12 Deep in the heart of the Caucasus Mountains a wild storm was gathering. Dread shadows drooped and thickened above the Pass of Dariel, -that terrific gorge which like a mere thread seems to hang between the toppling frost bound height s above and the black abysmal depths below, -clouds fringed ominously with lurid green and white, drifted heavily yet swiftly across the jagged peaks where, looming largely out of the mist, the snow capped crest of Mount Kazbek rose coldly white against t he darkness of the threatening sky. 11 Ardath with the female Gothic, 12 a 13 Other hallmarks of the Gothic are present as well: a Sturm und Drang aesthetic that Corelli employs at various points in the text. The rather jumbled fashion following the opening one of 14 protagonist, could not have been coincidental place any hope or reliance on those two empty words [salvation and immortality], signifying nothing! Do they, can they honestly believe in God, I wonder? Or are they only acting the usual worn 15 The criticisms he levels 11 Ardath 20 25. 12 The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) alone. 13 From Williams, Anne. Art of Darkness: A Poetics of Gothic Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995. Print, 8. 14 From Masters, Brian. Now Barabbas was a Rotter: The Extraordinary Life of Marie Corelli London: H. Hamilton, 1978. Print 82. 15 Ardath 113 19.
13 and institutionalized religion scathing reviews it received shortly after its publication. An embittered Alwyn seeks out lar debut in 1886, The Romance of Two Worlds meantime, I have a strong wish to be deluded I use the word advisedly, and repeat it 16 17 a n awareness of and capacity to manipulate internal electricity, Alwyn has a trance or vision sequence, where an indescribably beautiful woman instructs him to await her on the fields of Ardath. After traveling to the fields (we are told that it is within a few miles of the Euphrates 18 ), Alwyn undergoes a prolonged dream sequence, where he finds himself in a pre Babylonian city (Al Kyris) circa 6000 BC. There he loses his memory, befriends and interacts with his alter ego (Sah luma), falls into sexual tempt Sah luma from her, and witnesses the total obliteration of the city as foretold by pre Christian prophets. He encounters the woman from his original vision soon after the city angel and his soul mate, and that his experience in Al Kyris was a real memory that he experienced as Sah luma almost 8,000 years in the past and he ultimately professes his f 16 Ardath 174 80. 17 Ibid. 168 74. 18 Ibid. 1099 1105.
14 chronicles his return to English society, the spread of his fame, and, crucially, his fir m believer and crusader for Christ, embracing his angel made cathedral. Thumos Over the last twenty five years, a rich vein of criticism including the works of Herbert Sussman, James Eli Adams, Andrew Dowling, Eve Sedgewick, David Rose n, and others has demonstrated that Victorian masculinity was a rather protean trait, encompassing a range of different archetypes that reflected various sociological trends. g beyond mere tautology for Victorians at different moments in the nineteenth century, 19 The works of Sussman ( Victor ian Masculinities ) and Adams ( Dandies and Desert Saints ), in particular, establish a solid foundation concerning how Victorians looked to issues of control, discipline, and Manliness a nd the Male Novelist extends many of the theses from Sussman and Adams especially mapping out a system of metaphors and 20 These three texts have helped to develop 19 From Adams, James Eli. Dandies and Desert Saints: Styles of Victorian Masculinity Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1995. Print 3. 20 From Dowling, Andrew. Manliness and the Male Novelist in Victorian Literature Aldershot, Hampshire: Ashgate, 2001. Print at are evident in the nineteenth century? As both James Eli Adams and Herbert Sussman emphasize, it is an
15 21 and his exposition of 22 which oc cupies the critical foreground in my readings of Kingsley and Corelli. thumos 23 identified the fiery source of manhood, from which sanctified, fierce male behavior 24 Thumos 25 at the when Kingsley began energy. 26 thumos and it is clear from his writings that he saw the volcano as a central figure for this raw gendered energy, which appears in Hypatia, The Water Babies, Westward Ho! and even in a primer for schoolchildren that begins a commentary on Pompeii with the 27 Given its symbolic relationship to the Muscular C hristian, then, it is significant 21 Taken from Hall, Donald E. Muscular Christianity: Embodying the Victorian Age Cambr idge England: Cambridg e University Press, 1994. Print, 30 22 Ibid. source from which manly action flows, 23 The Greek word is 24 Rosen, 30 25 Ibid ., 31. 26 Plato a nd the Hero: Courage, Manliness a nd the Impersonal Good 27 Ibid Thumos which Plato saith is the root of
16 fantastic trappings of Ardath ; she references it in novels as disparate as A Romance of Two Worlds, Temporal Power, Ziska, The Youn g Diana, and others, often multiple times. Significantly, the volcano acts not only as a destructive force in her novels, but eruption that can be both physical and volcano, and, correspondingly, thumos warrants some examination in light of its importance for Kingsley, and I will explore the significance of this trope in Ardath shortly. For Corelli, the anxiety that resides in the space between what she denotes as 28 is one of the foundational aesthetics throughout Ardath be adopted or cast off with equal facility similarity to a Kingsleyan model that regarded masculinity as an ontological rather than a performative trait. I will examine the ramifications of this gap for Corelli while also considering how both she and Kingsley seem to arrive at a construction of gender that is coded with the langu age of mid and late century degeneration theory. Hypatia contains a more orthodox system of doubling, with xenophobia (the demarcation between the inside and the outside) and physically strong and weak men reiterated throughout, while Ardath implicitly q uestions the stability of such superficial masculine binaries, instead moving towards deeper, psychological models. 29 28 Ardath 6923.
17 Hypatia and Ardath appear to share a similar scholarly fate, as both novels have Consequently, there is relatively little criticism that directly engages these texts, Hypatia centers on its relationship to Newman and his novel, Callista British nat re establishment of a British Catholic hierarchy in 1850. Criticism concerning Corelli is even scarcer one reviewer goes so far as to say that she has been flung into scholarly 30 and what scholarship does exist seem s occupied with the numerous sensational aspects of her writing. It is only recently that some critical work, especially Idol of Suburbia: Marie Corelli and Late Victorian Literary Culture The Mysterious Miss Marie Corelli : Queen of Victorian Bestsellers (1999), has brought some scholarly focus back onto her work. Ardath is one of the lesser reviewed novels by critics, which is somewhat surprising given that it counted among its admirers the distinguished trio of Wilde, Gladstone, and Tennyson. antagonism with which she regarded the press and literary critics is infamous, and she was especially tireless in her attacks on the church. In particular, she lamented the 29 Feminist Film Theory: A Reader New York: New York University Press, 1999. Print, 337. 30 From Kershner, R B. "Modernism's Mirror: The Sorrows of Marie Corelli," in Transforming Genres: New Approaches to British Fiction of the 1890s eds. Meri Jane Rochelson and Ni kki Lee Manos (New York: St. Martin's P, 1994), 67.
18 31 of institutionalized Chri stianity near the turn of the century. Her novels often implicate religious figureheads, illustrating a clerical unscrupulousness that she felt was widespread. Accordingly, she viewed her work as a counterpoint to many of 32 (a label that she felt encompassed everything from those who insulted Shakespeare 33 Ardath novel. Beginning with a common historical turn (Corelli sends her protagonist to a pre Babylonian city circa 6000 BC, while Kingsley chooses fifth century Alexandria), the two novels narrate the final and chaotic days of their respective (and foreign) cities; juxtapose Christianity with different heath en doctrines; offer powerful female heretics as their roles undermine rigid demarcations of the male identity; chart the Bildungsroman of an Apollo like hero figure; an d explicitly appeal to modern readers didactically. The authors accomplish their aims in different ways Kingsley draws on elaborate historical settings and multiple characters, while Corelli uses an elongated dream sequence to transport her protagonist in to an imaginary past yet both writers intertwine this fictionalized past with their Victorian present day. It is not my intention to position Kingsley as a religious antecedent of Corelli, necessarily, but rather to argue that the similarities between the two novels are numerous enough to merit a conjunction of the two texts. Correspondingly, a smaller 31 Ardath 7356 62. 32 From Corelli, Marie. Romance of Two Worlds [Kindle Version] s.n.Web, 918. 33 upon Avon, was often quick to savage any and all who presumed, she felt, upon his reputation.
19 portion Hypatia while in the subsequent part I will examine how Corelli reconfigures a masculine epistemology in Ardath The uneven distribution is deliberate: there is much more criticism although I do see great value in reading Ardath through Hypatia I also view this project cons truction. So much scholarship is devoted to male authors like Ruskin, Carlyle, Pater, Wilde, and others in this camp, and thus it is a unique, critical opportunity to begin tracing out how Corelli can be introduced (or reintroduced) into this longstanding conversation.
20 CHAPTER 2 K INGSLEY AND DEGENERATION Ardath and Hypatia are novels that revolve predominantly around their male characters. To be sure, the women play a crucial role in facilitating the action (and certainly in helping to crys tallize different interpretations of gender that both texts engage), but the volume of male homosocial interaction makes it clear that we are entering a masculine space (the initial frame for both texts, is, after all, a monastic community). This is hardl The Romance of Two Worlds and its first person, female narration, although it is not necessarily a unique one. Ardath centric narrative (following her very melodramatic Vendetta identity in juxtapo one that itself, as James masculin 1 nearly 35 years later. A fear of degeneration, whether physical, psychological, or religious, is one of the chief anxieties in both Hypatia and Ardath and Kingsley and Corelli would have been familiar with some of the medical and popular texts tha t attempted to determine its causes and consequences. French pathologist and psychiatrist Benedict Augustin Morel the 1840s and 1850s. His Trait des Dgnrescences ( 1857) a work that postulated 1 Dandies and Desert Saints 17
21 three ways in which a civilization can decline: physical deformity, physiological abnormality, and emotional distress 2 laid the foundation for other cultural theorists to comment on degeneration in later years, including Cesare Degeneration ( Entartung 1892) Both Hypatia and Ardath entered the public sphere in the midst of this ongoing dialogue, one that saw a spike in public int erest and in public anxiety. As suspicion that it existed, fostered a sense that what might really be happening to civilization lay somehow hidden buried from sight yet graspable through patient 3 not] the British race is improving or degeneratin g? What, if it seem probably degenerating, are the causes of so great an evil? How can they be, if not destroyed, at least arrested? These are questions worthy attention [ sic ], not of statesmen only and medical men, but of every father and mother in the 4 For Kingsley, arresting the 5 thumos a task that he takes up with an eager hand in Hypatia For Corelli, as we will see presently, the issue is a bit more complex than 2 From Greenslade, William. Degeneration, Culture, and the Novel, 1880 1940 Cambridge; New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press, 1994. Pri nt 16. 3 Degeneration, Culture, and the Novel, 1880 1940 15. Emphasis added. 4 From P ick, Daniel. Face of Degeneration: A European Disorder, c.1848 c.1918 Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989. Print. 5 From Kingsley, Charles. The Life and Works of Charles Kingsley. London: Macmillan and co., limited; NewYork, The Macmillan Company, 1901. Print 31
22 psychological spaces that degeneration unearthed. philosophically derived from his reaction to the Tractarian movement 6 7 and what Kingsley found to be a senseless emphasis on chastity). Hypatia reads as a witness to both, offering a broad range of powe 8 civilised, exhausted by centuries during which no infusion of fresh blood had come to renew the stock. Morbid, self conscious, physically indolent, incapable then, as now, of personal or political 9 th en, that he chooses to populate his novel with a more robust set of characters (mostly there he sat musing above it all, full of life and youth and health and beauty a young Apollo of the desert His only clothing was a ragged sheep skin, bound with a leathern girdle. His long black locks, unshorn from childhood, waved and glistened in the sun; a rich dark down on cheek and chin showed the spring of healthful manhood; his hard hands and sinewy sunburnt limbs told of labour and endurance; his flashing eyes and beetling brow, of daring, fancy, passion, thought, which had no sphere of action in such a place. 10 6 Dandies and Desert Saints 17. 7 The Works of Charles Kingsley 31. 8 Hypatia 127 43. 9 Ibid 10 Ibid. 184 90.
23 The description is hyperbolic, and it is no coincidence that Kingsley chooses to model hath not come a razor unto mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mot 11 ). Philammon is an interesting study, ultimately, in that his is not a happy ending, despite his representation of a closed muscular Christianity. Although there is some consolation in his final reconciliation with his sister at his death, he witnesses the death of his beloved, Hypatia, in a gruesome scene of religious violence. doctrinal doubts after his initial conversations with Hypatia); as James Eli Adams 12 construction, and is often figured as something internal in the novel: Philammon provokes a confrontation with his views on women, salvation, and the institution of the church; and Raphael grapples with a nascent religious impulse that begins to break down his entrenched theological skepticism, eventually converting him from Judaism to Christianity. For Kingsley, then, the appropriate masculine mold was defined in opposition to degeneration and aspects of Tractarianism. In Hypatia he locates this model with the 11 Judges 16:17 KJ. 12 Dandies and Desert Saints 17
24 comparative purity of morals; sacred respect for woman, for family life, law, equal justice, ind ividual freedom, and, above all, for honesty in word and deed; bodies untainted by hereditary effeminacy, hearts earnest though genial, and blessed with a strange willingness to learn, even from those whom they despised; a brain equal to that of the Roman in practical power, and not too far behind that of the Eastern in imaginative and speculative acuteness. 13 serve to forestall what he feared would be a downward slope for England. Thus, the masculine character in Hypatia becomes a shield of sorts: a defender who will stand up manfully 14 is pervasive in his writing, serve to dichotomize the sexes and their comparati ve roles in underlying truth: namely, that the primary binary in his masculine epistemology is not, as some might argue, man woman, but instead something approaching man effeminare effeminatus 15 She writes that brought forth from Anglo and Roman Catholicism is nothing other than t he ancient voice of civic alarm as it confronts the approach of dangers threatening the nation at its most fundamental level as a polity. For garbed in a Tractarian cassock, the effeminatus has reappeared upon the national stage, taking up from the fop, t he eunuch, and the molly its traditional role within classical republican discourse as the invariable sign of onrushing civic debility and ruin. 16 13 Hypatia 107 13. 14 Hypatia 4779 85 emphasis added. 15 From Dowling, Linda C. Hellenism and Homosexuality in Victorian Oxford Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994. Print 12. 16 Ibid ., 46.
25 one that is linked to his aversion to the Tractarian movement. Thus the difference between man woman and man effeminare (effeminatus) is more than semantic for Kingsley, who saw the union of man and woman as something both divine and desirable, even necessary for couples thus life, and their marriage, in turn, has a transformative effect on him. This kind of redemption speaks to his understanding and use of thumos which he saw as a means 17 almost punitive at times: Philammon fails in a sacred respect for women, loses Hypatia, and is forced to return to the monastic space; Amal the Amalric (the prince of the Goths) penultimate scenes in the novel; while Raphael accepts a marriage to Victoria and converts to Christianity following his dialogue with Synesius of Cyrene and August ine (two seeming progenitors of Christian manliness). It is Raphael alone who, at the through the lens of a ravaged Alexandria before his death in the epilogue. It is fitting, then, that Kingsley has Raphael witness the one explicit illustration of thumos and the unbending, was expressed in his thin close set lips and his clear quiet eye; bu t the calm of his mighty countenance was the calm of a worn out volcano, over which centuries must pass before the earthquake rents be filled with kindly soil, and the cinder slopes 17 Rosen, 32.
26 18 This is the most transparent expressio n of thumos in Hypatia 19 It is a force that becomes ameliorative upon is kind, gentle, and, crucially, calm. More illustrative than any physical combat throughout the novel, this moment signals the apogee of thumos is transformative 18 Hypatia 4998. 19 Rosen, 31.
27 CHAPTER 3 C in Ardath 1 Giv en this claim, it is unsurprising that her protagonist seems homologous to Philammon and Raphael in many respects, but a closer examination of Ardath Thomas Alwyn is a somewh at peculiar one, given the religious underpinnings of the novel: Corelli is so swift to illustrate his lapsed faith Heliobas, a recurring character in world foolish, heaven i nspired lad you believed in God, and therefore, in godlike 2 explains to Heliobas, our veritable selves for, if we 3 The division between the two, the self and the true self, becomes one of the central dialectics in the novel as Corelli builds towar realization. Ardath in her work. In Temporal Power preparing to die sweetly, like sacrificed m aiden victims of the flower world, could turn true faces to the god who made them, but the men at that particular moment of time had 1 Ardath 7842. 2 Ibid 223 29. 3 Ibid ., 229 35.
28 4 Her words here especially are suggestive of a certain kind of epistemic understanding of metaphor), and then a s equence of veils or disguises that inform and characterize each itself an orthodox doubling, but as a more complex, layered individual with a psychological nucleus. To The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 5 self realization while he is i n Al silently, and with all his strength, combated the awful horror of himself that grew up spectrally within him, -the dreadful, distracting uncertainty of his own identity that again confused his 6 state of un knowing, again gesturing to a fractured psychological state that becomes tied to his identity. Additionally, the him in an epistemic stasis, unable to differ entiate between what he perceives as dream end, rather than mitigating some of the fantastical elements of the plot, concretizes the 4 From Correli, Marie. Temporal Power [Kindle Version] s.n.Web 62 68. 5 From Stevenson, Robert L, and Jenni Calder. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Other Stories Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books, 1979. Print 107. 6 Ardath 4293.
29 subversive subtexts about manline ss that Corelli positions therein. Her commentaries resonance for the reader as historical events than dream artifacts. ating time and time again in his 7 mirage, signal a move towards a specific hermeneut ic of gender identity: that of an unbound binary concerned with what we might presently term a proto psychoanalysis. 8 opposition, in 9 troubled, inner space leads to questions that force us to move more deeply into the das Unheimliche nd dreamscapes. And while the Jekyll and Hyde dynamic offers a much more conspicuous optic of a dual identity, I will argue that a divided rhetoric of masculine identity lies at the core of Ardath and constitutes one of the primary departures from Kingsl Christianity in Hypatia. 10 although it deals more explicitly with the spiritual than with the corporeal. She is not as 7 Ardath 139 45. 8 From Sussman, Herbert L. Victorian Masculinities: Manhood and Masculine Poetics in Early Victorian Literature and Art Cambridge England; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995. Print 74. 9 The Most Dreadful Visitation': Male Madness in Victorian Fiction 119. 10 Ardath in 1886, and is something w ith which Corelli would almost certainly have been familiar
30 fixedly concerned with an effeminizing taint in her male characters, focusing instead on a Pico della Mirandola esque schematic of how identity is affected by religious degeneration: the more morally bankrupt find themselves lower on the ontological ladder, moving from the angelic to the bestial. 11 12 that she so loathed. In her first novel, A Romance of Two Worlds forces his soul DOWNWARD t o inhabit hereafter the bodies of dogs, horses, and other like animals, he should know that he does so at the cost of everything except 13 In Ardath it is more pathologically nuanced: most unwholesome atmosphere, charged with the morbidities and microbes of national disease and downfall; it is difficult to breathe it without becoming fever smitten; and in your denial of the divinity of Christ, I do not blame you any more than I would bl ame a poor creature struck down by a plague. You have caught the negative, agnostic, and atheistical infection from others, -it is not the natural, healthy condition of your temperament. 14 emphasis of the science behind degeneration theory, and, unlike Kingsley, Corelli encodes the descent as religiously motivated. It is atheism not effeminacy that causes such a retrograde motion in Victorians. Her description of its dissemination incorporates health, vigor, and Christianity. 11 The similarities seem too evident not to mention between Kingsley, Corelli, and Pico della Mirandola, a Renaissance Italian artist and philosopher whose Oration on the Dignity of Man (1486) posited that man can rise to celestial heights or fall to bestial lows as on a ladder. 12 A Romance of Two Worlds 2829 36 13 Ibid ., 2796 2802. 14 Ibid ., 369 75.
31 Heliobas refers to Alwyn as a chi ld following his admission of an agnostic response to 15 prompting Alwyn to lash out 16 Indeed, it is only after a reinvigorating spiritual epi manly 17 although Corelli is careful to keep Alwyn in a Kingsley mold (in a letter to his best friend and editor, Frank Villiers, Theos assures h 18 ). Ardath Sah onis like personage in glistening white attire, who wore a myrtle 19 Corelli stakes out a number of different claims in this binary, and the Theos Sah luma pairing offers a rich reading of a fractured gender identity in Ardath a view made abundantly clear in their first meeting; Corelli writes, There was a brief pause, during which the two surveyed each other with looks of mutual amazement. What mysterious indication of affinity did they read in one Why did they stand motionless, spell bound and dumb for a while, eyeing half admiringly, half and bearing? 20 15 Ardath 218 24. 16 Ibid ., 389 95. 17 Ardath 918 24. 18 Ibid ., 740 46. 19 Ibid. 1488 91. 20 Ibid ., 1501 7.
32 writings. 21 In this vein, the bond between Alwyn and Sah luma is initially configured as homoerotic, although it is ultimately (and significantly) rendered autoerotic dur fated visit to Al Kyris, and it is through their interactions together and with other characters (especially their shared desire for Lysia, the high priestess) Alwyn as a man in the last chapters of the novel. The importance of completion in this respect cannot be overstated for Corelli, for whom a religious vigor was as vital as its athletic counterpart for Kingsley. Kyris, encountering not only his doppelgnger, but also an inversion of Victorian society that bears some resemblance to Kingsley depiction of Alexandria. Al also had a snake 22 23 in dealing with outsiders, and a sexualized high priestess is responsible for the religious well being of the citizens. This is a fairly literal transposition of the Victorian Lady and, crucially, a Christian portrayal of Christ and Mary. Corel li references one of Sartor Resartus 21 Oxford, 174. 22 Ardath 1416 22. 23 Ibid ., 1579 85.
33 we clutch at shadows as though they were substances, and sleep deepest when 24 The epistemological uncertainty that Al Kyris represents, then, becomes vitally important, not just because of its allegorical relationship with Sah luma. While in Al e its people, but at the same is conscious that there is a deeper reality (Christianity) that he cannot quite realize while with Sah luma. 25 tween Alwyn and Sah luma becomes, then, a metaphor for a masculine, unheimlich 26 Thi s reading is underscored later, as Theos begins to grapple with a sense of repetition, namely, that he is lost in a recursive cycle that leads him to question the verisimilitude of his experiences. In one of the climactic scenes after he has witnessed the murder of the prophet Khosrul, the narrator recounts: by a spectator watching the progress of a finely acted tragedy, became conscious of the same singular sensation he h ad already several times experienced, -namely, THAT HE HAD WITNESSED THE WHOLE OF 27 The emboldened 24 Ibid ., 889. 25 with which he constantly struggles, signal the troubled psychological state that Freud would begin to explore som e years later. 26 Ardath 109 15. 27 Ibid. 4757.
34 is a technique that Corelli makes use of numero us times throughout Ardath As with the Jekyll Hyde aggregate, both Theos and Sah luma are coded as reciprocal fragments of the self. Thus they move together, feel together, and remember as with one hand he pushed his clustering hair from his brow, not without noticing that his action was imitated almost at once by Sah 28 Alwyn later discovers that the poem he composed from his Sah although both are poets, only Sah for which Alwyn so desperately yearns. Sah luma comes to represent, if we can luma the idealized perfection of Sah beauty combining the delicate with the vigorous, 29 ), but superficially, Sah luma has everything that Alwyn is desirous of, including a sexual relationship with their common love interest, Lysia. In one of the pivotal scenes, Alwyn rejects her sexual advances and refuses her injunction that he kill Sah luma, w ho is thee fair!...but now now that I see thee as thou art, in all the nameless horror of thy 30 Alwyn saves himself both literally and metaphorically, acting, as Freud will outline two 28 Ibid., 4369 76. 29 Ardath 1507 13. 30 Ibid. 3449 56.
35 displacing male desire onto the female body. This psychological model be comes the primary vehicle for the Bildungsroman of the novel Alwyn rediscovers his faith through Kyris, whatever its allegorical currency, and the pitfalls of materialism, fame, and a sexual relationship that i s based only on physical appetite. It is the character of Lysia who, along with the Sah luma Theos pairing, stands Christianity. Notwithstanding her death in Al protagonist(s) represents a constant probing of many established masculine norms. questions, after first seeing her 31 From the initial moment of contact, it is her gaze to which he warmth of those dark, witching, sleepy orbs that flashed at him half resentfully, half 32 Her gaze is electric uld not have been accidental alternating pattern, and Theos is powerless before the attraction he feels for her: 31 Ardath 1445 1456. 32 Ibid
36 after her at all risks, -he must find out her place of abode, -her rank, -her title, -her 33 that Theos perceives becomes one of the staples of her character. Lysia is described with her sexuality while simultaneously castigating them for giving in to their appetites (3172). Her vacillation becomes much more pronounced the more that Theos grows to know her. Lysia entertains scores of male lovers and followers, but unleashes a tirade miserably, lingeringly, horrible, -as I would have every man die could I fulfill my utmost aches with a burden of dark memories memories conjured up by the wizard spell of thine eyes, -those eyes so cruel sweet that seem to lure me to -nevertheless my spirit knows thee, -feels thee, -clings to thee, -constant epistemological uncertainty that colors her discourse. It is, in part, this refusal to be categorized that allows her to destabilize other categorizations. Lysia gleefully subverts masculine code in her dialogues w ith Theos, where at one point she instructs 33 Ibid. 1445.
37 construction of an intrinsic manliness. In what is perhaps one of the most revealing passages in Ardath the high What a dark, still, melancholy countenance is thine, Sir Theos! she said abruptly re, a man of strongly repressed and concentrated temperament in Al winged butterflies, drinking nd delicate as the little dancing ache on small provocation, and bodies that are apt to fail easily when but slightly fatigued. Aye! thou art a man clothed complete in manliness, -moreover -She paused, and leaning forward so that the dark shower of her perfumed hair marvelous mountains that oft wear crowns of ice on their summits and yet hold unquenchable fir e in their depths? ...Methinks thou dost resemble these, -and that at a touch, the flames would leap forth uncontrolled. 34 Some of the first words recall the opening lines address in this manner is significant: in likening Theos to a dormant volcano thumos This metaphor is followed by her description of, effectively, what Linda Dowling would term the effeminatus 35 ) combine for a 34 Ardath 2956. 35 According to the OED dwelling house (esp. of the palace of a sovereign or great noble) in which the women are secluded; the apartments reserved for wives and
38 scathing portrayal of Al as part of the designation. 36 thumos purifyin g energy. Instead, Lysia recasts thumos as a repressive force, even as she melancholic but st to a performative nature is critical; Kingsley saw thumos as an innate force, and so components of Muscular Christianity. The extended metaphor of the volcano that she uses at the end of the passage is also particularly germane: like Kingsley, Corelli sees the s ymbolic value of the volcano as a mediator between different extremes, but she deviates from his model by declaring thumos will become a destructive rather than the self actualizing force that Kingsley projected for their ancient records your city of Al Kris is mentioned as a great and populous place, which was suddenly destroyed by the bursting out of a 36 Hellenism and Homosexuality in Victorian Oxford 12.
39 37 remark not only does the demo the fall of a huge obelisk that stands in the middle of the Royal Square. Corelli writes, THE OBELISK! 38 The two as it comes crashin g down onto the square seems a curiously nuanced mode of thumos 39 ), the white granite obelisk (the phallus), and an earthquake 37 Ardath 7688 7700. 38 Ibid ., 4767 4778 39 Rosen, 31.
40 CHAPTER 4 C ONCLUSION posited, we must approach the male figures in both novels dialectically. This illuminates, as I have discussed, the move from 1 The I do not take this in the pejorative sense, but rather that he is working with fragments of a totality are stripped away in Ardath 2 The epistemological uncertainty that Theos experiences as a result of his interactions with das Unheimliche in Al 3 that Kingsley forged in his male characters, o Ardath manliness finds its roots in Lysia, a character that Corelli seems to have modeled on a Where Corelli departs from the construction of these kinds of characters, crucially, is om she works to 4 1 From Vance, Norman. The Sinews of the Spirit: The Ideal of Christian Manliness in Victorian Literature and Religious Thought Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985. Print, 79. 2 Ardath 4293. 3 Muscular Christianity 20. 4 Ardath 3121.
41 visceral nature and importance to the narrative beg the question of whether or not Corelli appropriated a forceful, misanthropic woman to explore the affect of unfettered power in such a capacity. The fact that she seduces the king and the poet laureate of Al Kyris the two most important and influential men speaks to a curious desire in Corelli to delve into a subversive female body through a male narration/ gaze not often seen in popular Victorian prose. One of the primary departures from Kingsley, and one of the main points that I the rigid demarcations of the male iden tity in Ardath On the surface, she divides homosocial bonds those of friendship (Sah luma and Zephoranim, the king), class, and the self (Theos and Sah luma) through her overt sexuality but, more insidiously, she threatens to destabilize the core of the Muscular Christian as understood by Kingsley: thumos manliness to clothing and to performance. Instead of the fiery volcano, she compares The thrust of her condemnation is clear: manliness is a mask. It is not, as in the case of Philammon, Raphael, and others, of her vitriolic hatred for men or becau se Corelli kills her off in Al 5 She endures, and leaves an indelible mark on both protagonist and narrative in how she subverts some of the fundamental presuppositions 5 Ardath 7886.
42 Thus, like spot where is was once so tenderly fostered, showing its sympathy with the surrounding 6 teleological approach to manhood is splintered. The division, along with its implic ations of repression and the activity and drive of the subconscious, signal a complexity in Theos that completely escaped her reviewers towards the end of the nineteenth century, and has gone mostly unnoticed in critical studies at present. She was, appro priately, ahead of her time in this respect, which has prompted a small handful of critics to examine some of her major works ( Sorrows of Satan primarily) as a possible bridge to modernism. 7 As Susan Marjorie Zieger contends, Corelli tinkered with a str 8 It is an apt assessment, and touches on the tension and innovation in her writing that helped to establish Corelli as a household name and one of the most widely read authors of the nineteenth century. What results, then, by reading the Muscular Christian in Hypatia and Ardath dialogically is an awareness of the extent to which Corelli subjected the model to publications and the very different personal backgrounds of both authors constitute hugely influential factors that shape masculinity in both novels. That said, I view this essay as a path towards recovering both novels, especially Ardath as well as ges turing 6 Ardath 1118 24 7 8 From Zieger, Susan M. Inventing the Addict: Drugs, Race, and Sexuality in Nineteenth Century British and American Literature Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2008. Print, 204.
43 towards several other critical avenues to understand more clearly how Corelli is revising attention to the context of her writing with that of other Victorian auth ors, her work deserves more than a second look, especially a more developed psychoanalytic reading of the two. Additionally, there are a number of ancillary questions that, at some point, should be addressed: the role and effect of technology in the novel s, the impact of serialization as compared to full text publication (as was the case with Ardath ), how transgressive female bodies are configured, and others, which can help us to 9 9 Manliness and the Male Novelist in Victorian Literature 3.
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47 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Gareth Hadyk DeLodder is currently a first year PhD student at the University of Florida, Gainesville, where he studies gender performance, aesthetic theories, and translation issues in 19 th century British works. Gareth completed his B.A. in English Literature at the Univers ity of Maryland, College Park, and then spent the following two years working and teaching in La Rioja, Spain, on fellowship. He resumed his studies at the m Year Writing. As of 201 2, Gareth is a Kirkland Scholar in the English department at UF, where he continues his research in Victorian Studies and standardized assessment techniques.