Abstract

This article rethinks the underestimated radical potential of George Eliot's Felix Holt: The Radical (1866) by examining how the novel envisions the political sphere of the election as a heterogeneous narrative site that culminates narrative collision, wherein different strands of plot and subplot collide in unpredictable yet explicit ways. While the novel's multiplot structure already harbors subversive potential in that various subplots conspire to thwart the development of relatively conspicuous narrative strands, the fact that these defiant and competitive narrative energies overlap in Treby Magna's electoral occasions suggests Eliot's attempt to reconfigure this political sphere as vitally inclusive and radically unsettling. By examining such procedures, it is not only possible to think beyond previous criticism that has deemed the novel either conservative or radical elsewhere than in the realm of politics, but also possible to newly understand the depth and complexity of Eliot's radical imagination.

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