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Arnold Bennett’s Romance of the Suburbs
Arnold Bennett’s Romance of the Suburbs

Author(s): Małgorzata Nitka
Subject(s): Theoretical Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Studies of Literature, 19th Century, Philology, British Literature
Published by: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: Bennett; A Man from the North; suburbs; writing; romance; monotony; individuality
Summary/Abstract: "A Man from the North" (1898), Arnold Bennett’s first novel, reflects, to a certain degree, the end-of-the-century shift in which, as Lynne Hapgood contends, suburbs rather than city constitute the narrative location and become a literary subject in its own right. The novel tells the story of Richard Larch who comes to London to attempt a literary career, for which he believes himself destined. He fails to accomplish the dream as he lacks both talent and commitment, while the dream itself turns out to be a piece of self-delusion. He turns out to be more suited to the regular and unimaginative life of a clerk and husband commuting to work from the suburbs. Even though this conclusion suggests that the suburban pattern of life may annihilate literary creativity, Bennett considers possibilities of their reconciliation. This paper seeks to examine the relationship between writing and suburbs as shown in the novel as well as to discuss larger, social and cultural, implications of the suburbs.

  • Page Range: 89-100
  • Page Count: 12
  • Publication Year: 2021
  • Language: English