In Treatment with George Eliot

1 University of Wisconsin-Madison. Susan David Bernstein, Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the author of Roomscape: Women Writers in the Reading Room of the British Museum from George Eliot to Virginia Woolf (2013) and Confessional Subjects: Revelations of Gender and Power in Victorian Literature and Culture (1997) and co-editor with Elsie B. Michie of Victorian Vulgarity: Taste in Verbal and Visual Culture (2009). She has recently co-authored with Catherine DeRose "Reading Numbers by Numbers: Digital Studies and the Victorian Serial Novel" in Victorian Review, as well as "Serialization," co-authored with Julia McCord Chavez, in Oxford Bibliographies Online.


While the psychoanalytic concept of transference is often the analytic crux of the interactions of the consulting-room, its structure also illuminates what transpires for readers and viewers of serial narratives. In Scenes of Clerical Life, Middlemarch, and In Treatment, the serial form prompts the back-and-forthness of transference and countertransference, much like our own fluctuating engagements between world and fiction. Ultimately this essay argues that the power of Victorian realism lies in its capacity to generate transference.


Copyright © Susan David Bernstein, 2014

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