Double-Crossing: Elizabeth Bowen's Ghostly Short Fiction

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Starting from Bowen's ‘Anglo-Irish’ identity as a mark of the split self, I trace her literary exploration of non-belonging by looking at how her early work, above all in the short story, draws her uncannily close to the neo-gothic problematic of the ghost story. Examining her short fiction in the 1920s and 30s, I argue that Bowen's ghostly writing ultimately reaches towards an encounter with something impossible, a point of radical otherness lying beyond the legible surfaces of ‘belonging’, be they those of nation, class, identity or heterosexual legitimacy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-28
Number of pages22
JournalTextual Practice
Issue number1
Early online date12 Feb 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Bowen
  • Gothic
  • Henry James
  • The Cat Jumps
  • The Disinherited
  • The Shadowy Third
  • The Storm
  • ghost stories


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