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The Dream Life of Citizens
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The Dream Life of Citizens: Late Victorian Novels and the Fantasy of the State

Zarena Aslami


It has become commonplace to claim that, as imagined communities, nations are constituted through the incitement of feelings and the operations of fantasy. But what about the state? Can we think of it as a subject of feeling, as well? This study of late Victorian culture argues that novels certainly did. Revisiting major works by Olive Schreiner, Thomas Hardy, George Gissing, and Sarah Grand, among others, it shows how novels dramatized the feelings and fantasies of a culture that was increasingly optimistic, as well as increasingly anxious, about the state's capacity to “step in” and help its ... More

Keywords: State power, Victorian novels, Liberalism, Empire, Afghanistan, Affect, Political Fantasy, Gender and sexuality, Sovereignty and Biopower, Subjectivity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780823241996
Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2012 DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823241996.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Zarena Aslami, author
Michigan State University