Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Articulating BodiesThe Narrative Form of Disability and Illness in Victorian Fiction$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kylee-Anne Hingston

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620757

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620757.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 13 June 2021

Grotesque Bodies: Hybridity and Focalization in Victor Hugo’s Notre-Dame de Paris

Grotesque Bodies: Hybridity and Focalization in Victor Hugo’s Notre-Dame de Paris

Chapter:
(p.19) Chapter One Grotesque Bodies: Hybridity and Focalization in Victor Hugo’s Notre-Dame de Paris
Source:
Articulating Bodies
Author(s):

Kylee-Anne Hingston

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781789620757.003.0002

This chapter argues that Victor Hugo’s historical Gothic novel Notre-Dame de Paris (1831)—especially in its popular English translation, Hunchback of Notre Dame (1833)—set a precedent in Victorian fiction for investigating the disabled body through narrative form and focalization. The chapter shows how Hugo uses external focalization from a perspective outside the narrative action to portray the disabled body as grotesque and thus inherently deviant but uses strategic internal focalization through characters inside the narrative to destabilize the boundaries between normalcy and abnormality. In particular, focalizing externally on Quasimodo, Hugo separates reader empathy from him and dehumanizes his body; but focalizing through Quasimodo forces readers to share his embodiment, removing the distinction between self and other. Moreover, the chapter contends that the novel’s structural hybridity, which combines disparate genres, enables the dialogic conflict of these two opposing voices and so provides a structural prototype whereby Victorian novels approached disability.

Keywords:   Victor Hugo, Hunchback of Notre Dame, focalization, Gothic, grotesque, hybridity, disability

Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.