The loneliness of the long-distance cyclist: cyclic form in Frazer and Proust.
Yearbook of English Studies, 26 pp. 163–172.
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I have always been fascinated by longer literary forms, so in this essay I bring together the two multi-volume works on which I've written monographs - Sir James Frazer's The Golden Bough and Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu - and compare their structures. The model that I come up with - "cyclic form" - derives from music, and was practised by Beethoven amongst others. So far, I've only applied it to written works of the imagination, but it might be an interesting idea to see what relevance it has to multi-volume historical works: to Gibbon, for example, or to two of my all-time favourites: Runciman's History of the Crusades, or Motley's Rise of the Dutch Republic.
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