Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Object LessonsThe Novel As a Theory of Reference$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jami Bartlett

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226369655

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226369792.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 05 December 2019

Throwing Things in Thackeray

Throwing Things in Thackeray

(p.66) 2 Throwing Things in Thackeray
Object Lessons

Jami Bartlett

University of Chicago Press

This chapter argues that Thackeray devises a physical approach to reference in the world of the realist novel, and develops a theory of demonstrative identification that is nothing less than a motor-intentional philosophy of language. His novel Barry Lyndon is obsessed with lost objects, and with what one has in the losing of them. This chapter also shows how Thackeray uses the act of throwing objects as a bidirectional referential strategy, a tracking behavior that gets rid of an object in order to take meaning away from it. Barry’s frame of reference is constituted by these thrown objects: as they fly into the world, their trajectories allow its possibilities and restrictions to emerge. Because there are no intentional terminations in this novel—throwing isn’t a throwing-away—Barry’s attempts to reference, pick out, and hold on to the objects that ambiguously signify his narrative desire create arcs of beginning and ending that generate narrative through their attention to the physical distance between objects, characters, and plots.

Keywords:   William Makepeace Thackeray, Barry Lyndon, throwing, throwing things, motor intentionality, narrative desire, demonstrative indentification, narrative arc, lost arc

Chicago 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.