• The “Former Sun” in the Sidereal Clock: The Kabbalistic Heavens and Time in The Spanish Gypsy and Daniel Deronda

    Author(s):
    Caroline Wilkinson (see profile)
    Date:
    2016
    Group(s):
    CLCS Romantic and 19th-Century, GS Poetry and Poetics, LLC Victorian and Early-20th-Century English
    Subject(s):
    Victorian novel, George Eliot
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Daniel Deronda, astronomy, Kabbala, The Spanish Gypsy
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M67940T53
    Abstract:
    In both her epic poem The Spanish Gypsy and her final novel Daniel Deronda, Eliot drew upon kabbalistic concepts of the heavens through the characters of Jewish mystics. In the later novel, Eliot moved the mystic, Mordecai, from the narrative's periphery to its center. This change, symbolically equated within the novel to a shift from geocentricism to heliocentrism, affects time in Daniel Deronda both in terms of plot and historical focus. Not only does time slow as Mordecai assumes a central role, the astral imagery begins to draw upon a medieval past when Jewish thinkers explored interdisciplinary concepts of the heavens. This essay argues for the centrality of the astronomical imagery in relation to the Jewish themes of Daniel Deronda and shows through its analysis of The Spanish Gypsy how Eliot employed kabbalistic ideas of the skies in an attempt to create a new vision of star-crossed love for literature.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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