By Maureen Moran
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Extra resources for Catholic Sensationalism and Victorian Literature
9). indd 25 15/3/07 14:40:47 26 catholic sensationalism and victorian literature 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 further gesture of disturbance in sensation fiction; it increases class anxiety by drawing its techniques from mass culture (Mixed Feelings: Feminism, Mass Culture, and Victorian Sensationalism [New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1992], pp. 15–17). Ann Cvetkovich takes up Paul Ricoeur’s ‘hermeneutics of suspicion’ to characterize the narrative impetus of sensation fiction ‘in which every fact that excites a sensation merits investigation’ (Mixed Feelings, p.
Sensation’, Punch, XL (20 July 1861), p. 31. Elizabeth K. Helsinger, Robin Lauterbach Sheets and William Veeder, The Woman Question: Society and Literature in Britain and America 1837–1883, vol. III, Literary Issues (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1983), pp. 210–11. , ‘Belles Lettres’, Westminster Review, XXX ( July 1866), pp. 269–70. For example, Deborah Wynne has identified the ‘Newgate’ crime novel, sensational newspaper reporting of crime, theatrical melodrama, penny dreadfuls and Gothic fiction as influences on Victorian literary sensationalism (The Sensation Novel and the Victorian Family Magazine [Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001], p.
The ‘New Catholic Baroque’ embraces an aesthetic of sensuous spirituality, highly charged emotional states, and intimate selfexposure. In thematic and stylistic extravagance, the exhibitionist poetic practice of Hopkins and Thompson invokes this new style to express the ecstasy and pain of connection with the unfathomable Divine. In the Epilogue, I offer some brief reflections on the significance of Catholic sensationalism for an interpretation of the Victorian past. In its interweaving of secular and denominational anxieties, the sensational modelling of Roman Catholicism is central to the system of symbolic thinking that constructs Victorian cultural reality.