Beyond the Boundaries of Realism
Monstrous Islands and Literary Hybrids at the Fin de Siècle in Conan Doyle’s, R. L. Stevenson’s and H. G. Wells’s Fiction
This article explores the way in which at the fin de siècle, Doyle, Stevenson and Wells chose to set their works on marginal islands in order to spatially escape not only from the bleak reality of the modern world, but also from the constraints of realism, and to reconnect with more imaginative forms of writing. It thus aims to shed new light on the relationship between geographical space and literary aesthetics, and to demonstrate that the island space is especially conducive to generic excursions out of realism and towards the fantastic, the marvellous and even the monstrous, leading to the creation of eminently hybrid literary texts.
Keywords: Fin de siècle • Islands • Romance • Victorian Era • Genre • Gothic • Space • Geopoetics • Fantastic • Monsters • Hybridity • Doyle • Uncanny • Border-crossing • Stevenson • Marvellous • Realism • Aesthetics • Escapism • Form • Narrative Annexe • Wells