"Disorderly Order": The Grotesque and the Gothic as Forms of Caledonian Antisyzygy in James Hogg's The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner and Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
|Institution:||University of Iceland|
|Full text PDF:||http://hdl.handle.net/1946/20956|
This thesis is a study of Scotland's two iconic novels, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, and how both authors develop the use of Gothic and grotesque literary tropes as a result of the so-called Caledonian antisyzygy in an attempt to encapsulate and rationalize the fragmented sense of identity associated with Scottish writers. By examining the historical roots of the authors' Scottish identity, as well as viewing the more modern approaches to Scottish writing as post-colonial, or subaltern works, I argue that the Treaty of the Union, as well as Britain's attempts to quell any further Jacobite uprisings through gentrification and the Clearances, resulted in the Scottish writer becoming at war with himself. With this history in mind I also look at how the concept of the Other and dual personalities have helped shape the discourse of these novels. I will furthermore examine the meaning of the word grotesque, starting with its near-mythical origins in Nero's Domus Aurea and tracing the concept's history to the Gothic, where the two artistic traditions meet and blend. I will then study the two works of James Hogg and Robert Louis Stevenson referred to above and argue that their use of the grotesque and the Gothic in their presentations of the Other are not simply artistic or stylistic choices but naturally inherent forms of narrative for the Scottish writers bedevilled by the Caledonian antisyzygy.