Picture of person typing on laptop with programming code visible on the laptop screen

World class computing and information science research at Strathclyde...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

The Department also includes the iSchool Research Group, which performs leading research into socio-technical phenomena and topics such as information retrieval and information seeking behaviour.

Explore

Ethel Wilson and sophistication

Hammill, Faye (2011) Ethel Wilson and sophistication. Studies in Canadian Literature, 36 (2). pp. 54-75.

[img]
Preview
Text (Hammill-SCL-2011-Ethel-Wilson-and-sophistication)
Hammill_SCL_2011_Ethel_Wilson_and_sophistication.pdf - Final Published Version
License: Unspecified

Download (206kB) | Preview

Abstract

Critics often use the term “sophisticated” to describe the fiction of Ethel Wilson. Though it is difficult to capture the full range of the word’s connotation, sophistication in Ethel Wilson’s work is embodied by three features: experience, complexity, and elegance. Wilson’s narratives construct hierarchies of sophistication and often juxtapose sophistication of narrative with that of subject, making novels like Hetty Dorval (1947), Swamp Angel (1954), and Love and Salt Water (1956), as well as Wilson’s short stories, fertile ground for examining sophistication as both theme and technique. Hetty Dorval centres on themes of innocence and experience, and presents sophistication as unshockability or unawareness of conventional moral standards on the part of Mrs. Dorval, while Frankie becomes more shockable as she becomes more experienced. In Love and Salt Water, straightforward and sparse prose yields exceedingly complex impressions. In the context of mid-twentieth-century Canadian literature, Wilson’s cosmopolitan detachment, as opposed to her compatriots’ earnestness and national commitment, sets her work apart.