Date of this Version
Journal of Narrative Theory (Summer 2003) 33(2): 163-183.
Analyzes the successive critiques of Mary Barton: A Tale of Manchester Life by Elizabeth Gaskell, first published in 1848. Uses the concept of the "dissembled dialogue" to account for both the poetics and the politics of the text. Borrows the concept of dissembling as a critical tool for a reading of Gaskell's text from Deirdre d'Albertis, who argues that Gaskell's "dissembling fictions" use several strategies to create a "poetics of narrative dissimulation."