Prophecy and Vitality: Reclaiming E. M. Forster and Christopher Isherwood's Theories of Literary Affect as Critical Tools for the Analysis of Fiction
This thesis explores the value of literary affect and reader experiences thereof for critical analysis. Two authors, E. M. Forster and Christopher Isherwood, sit at the core of this thesis due to their respective ideas of ?prophecy? and ?vitality? that propose the importance of individual reader experience in interpreting fiction. Their theories propose, in different ways, that fiction has the ability to extend beyond its mimetic and contextual limits. Derek Attridge and Emmanuel Levinas have contributed to these theories more recently and from a different perspective to re-establish the examination of literature based in reader experience and its ineffable effect. These theories are examined and combined to achieve a holistic and functional theory of literary affect that can be applied critically. The novels used as examples are E. M. Forster‘s A Passage to India, Christopher Isherwood‘s Prater Violet, A Meeting by the River, and A Single Man.