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|Title:||The Shandean Matrices|
|Authors:||Deluzio, David Jefferey|
|Advisor:||Blewett, David L.|
|Keywords:||English;English Language and Literature;English Language and Literature|
|Abstract:||<p>The purpose of this inquiry is to examine Laurence Sterne's <em>Tristram Shandy</em> in the light of certain modern considerations of language, and according to models derived from Arthur Koestler's <em>Act of Creation</em>. Koeslter's fundemental concept, <em>the bisociation of matrices,</em> can be used to analyse various aspects of a text: I have chosen primarily to examine Sterne's depiction of the human mind in his most famous work.</p> <p>The introduction explains the basic concepts of <em>bisociation</em> and the <em>matrix</em>. The notion that the psychological matrix is an artificial and therefore significantly limited construct is implicit in <em>Act of creation</em>. My particular consideration has been influenced by a variety of contemporary considerations of <em>language</em> and structural models, or, <em>matrices</em>, as Koestler calls them. The writings of Jacques Derrida, post-structuralist questionings of models as <em>asolutes</em>, the feminist critiques of objective thinking (found in the writings of Mary Daley, and Julie Kristeva, among others), and the use of models to explain human psychology all present-- in highly varied ways-- the notion that human-constructed models are <em>selective</em> and require the suppression of many elements which the <em>constructor</em> deems irrelevant. The introduction indicates that related notions may be found in past critical examinations of Sterne's works.</p> <p>The first chapter briefly examines the psychology of Sterne's day, and attempts to show the affinity those concepts have with more recent examinations of the mind.</p> <p>The second chapter examines the character of Walter Shandy, a representation of a mind which regards its organizational matrices as absolutes, and the comic frustration which this character encounters. The relationship between organizational matrices and the forces which disrupt them is further investigated in a consideration of Walter Shandy's theory of noses. The third chapter examines the link between Walter and those characters who percieve the frangibility of matrices and the limits of human thought. Tobias Shandy represents a mind which is monomaniacal, but can nonetheless play with those forces which inevitably disrupt human organization.</p> <p>Those minds which have some understanding of what Koestler terms <em>bisociation</em> and the limits of human understanding, are examined in the fourth and fifth chapters. One of the essential differences which exists between these characters-- Parson Yorick and Tristram Shandy-- is the former's apparent belief ln an absolute, though imperfectly understood matrix.</p> <p>The final chapter considers the chaos of Sterne's narrative in the light of the implication, clearly present in <em>tristram Shandy</em>, that all human organization is inherently limited. Sterne, like many contemporary writers, perceives human matrices as necessary, but imperfect and therefore inclined to failure.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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