Journal of Literature, Culture and Media Studies The House and the Outsider: The Site of Narration in Contemporary Theory


The hall towered high, lofty and wide-gable Then the mighty spirit who dwelt in darkness Bore grievously a time of hardship, in that He heard each day loud revelry in hall. Beowulf (82-89) Abstract:The paired images of The House and the Outsider form an archetype of English narrative fiction, as the example of Beowulf shows with the celebration of the construction of the Hall Heorot waking the monster Grendel who would destroy the house of social order. Many houses and many outsiders follow this paradigmatic pattern, from Lovelace and Harlowe Place to Heathcliff and Thrushcross Grange to Kinbote with his “window-framed opportunities ” to spy on John Shade, and then to invade and occupy his work, Pale Fire. As this last example indicates, in the formal self-consciousness of the novel the symbolic field of the house-outsider comes to include the reader in relation to the house o

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