Work

Morpho Eugenia

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Morpho Eugenia is a 1992 novella by A. S. Byatt first published in complete form with The Conjugal Angel as Angels & Insects. Named after a butterfly species, it details the key events of the life of a Victorian naturalist, William Adamson, at first seemingly struggling to move up in class and settle down with a beautiful, mysterious aristocrat, Eugenia. When he begins a study of garden ants with the household tutor, Matty Crompton, he discovers the endless layers of interpretation that hide truths (but not The Truth) behind what he has taken for granted about God, science, England, gender, and family. The novella is notable for its use of blend of postmodern and Victorian fiction, as well as philosophy and science. However, its integral use of hybridity, reflexivity, and hypertextuality make it a postmodern work overall.
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date of publication: 1992
genre: novella, novel

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