Ghostly reference is a malleable aspect of representation, a formal nexus that allows for the free play of belief and the production of worlds—two necessary conditions for the formation and sustenance of the liberal subject. In various fictions and one historical circumstance, this essay tries to take ghosts literally, to ask what they are as well as what they mean.
Elaine Freedgood is Professor of English at New York University, where she works on Victorian literature and culture, critical theory, and the history of the novel. She is the author of Victorian Writing About Risk: Imagining a Safe England in a Dangerous World (Cambridge, 2000) and The Ideas in Things: Fugitive Meaning in the Victorian Novel (Chicago, 2006). Her current project is called “Worlds Enough: Fictionality and Reference in the Novel.”
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Elaine Freedgood; Ghostly Reference. Representations 1 February 2014; 125 (1): 40–53. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/rep.2014.125.1.40
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