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dc.contributor.advisorCecil, L. Moffitt
dc.contributor.authorLazar, Margaret McAdowen_US
dc.description.abstractTwo trends are apparent in the work of Lafcadio Hearn. One involves interpretation of life within one ethnic group to an audience of another and includes the portraits of life on the levee in Cincinnati, the Creole studies of New Orleans and Martinique, and the investigations of Japanese culture. The other, of which the "Fantastics," Some Chinese Ghosts, Chita, and the prose-poetry are evidence, involves the pursuit of art for its own sake. These trends at first develop separately but after 1886, they merge increasingly in his most original pieces, which combine interpretation with the use of techniques developed in the purely artistic efforts. In the ethnic sketches done in Cincinnati he displays a growing ability to employ sensory appeal in description, to individualize characters, to create atmosphere, to employ imagery, to use dialect, and to manipulate the elements of narrative. Between 1878 and 1883, the "Ozias Midwinter Letters" and the Creole sketches reveal the inception of a prose-poetic style and the mastery of illustration as a tool of cultural interpretation. An aesthetic of idealism, beauty, and emotion underlies his artistic work, particularly the "Fantastics," in which Hearn experiments with the techniques of poetic prose, with rhythm, stylistic ornateness, and imagery, and gains experience in creating atmosphere and in handling the dream-vision, the frame narrative, and thematic development. From 1883 to 1887, Hearn's translating of French orientalists increased his yearning to explore the Orient and influenced his art by providing depth of scholarship and source material for his adaptations in Stray Leaves and Some Chinese Ghosts. Detailed comparison of individual pieces with their sources reveals a growing assertion of independence as he moves from translation to stories he builds upon the briefest anecdote. In them Hearn works with various narrative techniques and gives the tales structural unity and complexity and stylistic richness often absent in his sources. He strengthens characterizations, heightens drama, adds verisimilitude, alters mood and tone, and establishes settings, mastering the tools he is to employ in Chita, Youma, and in the stories of life in Japan. Hearn's search for stylistic perfection in poetic prose intensifies between 1886 and 1888 in impressionistic sketches and "philosophical fancies" in which he seeks to give the "emotional effect of verse" in musical language while employing color for its emotional values. In Chita, he to some extent compensates artistically for weaknesses in plotting and characterization with use of descriptive prose-poetry, imagery, and a structural pattern of crescendo and diminuendo. His more mature impressionism is combined in the West Indian works with ethnic interpretation. Youma represents the successful integration of skilfully handled narrative with colorful, sensuous description of local life and stylistic restraint. In Japan Hearn, influenced by the Japanese aesthetic of suggestiveness and simplicity, shed the stylistic exoticism that marred earlier works and applied his artistic techniques to stories interpreting life around him. The powers of observation sharpened in the previous ethnic investigations, the narrative techniques mastered after years of experimentation, and the style cleansed of excess but with the same reverence for the color and emotional power of the word, all are ingredients of his artistic success in stories such as "Haru" and "The Red Bridal," "Yuko: A Reminiscence," "The Case of O-Dai," and others.
dc.format.extentx, 283 leaves, bounden_US
dc.format.mediumFormat: Printen_US
dc.relation.ispartofTexas Christian University dissertationen_US
dc.subject.lcshHearn, Lafcadio, 1850-1904en_US
dc.titleThe art of Lafcadio Hearn: A study of his literary developmenten_US
dc.typeTexten_US of English
local.collegeAddRan College of Liberal Arts
local.academicunitDepartment of English
dc.identifier.callnumberMain Stacks: AS38 .L395 (Regular Loan)
dc.identifier.callnumberSpecial Collections: AS38 .L395 (Non-Circulating) of Philosophy Christian University

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