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|Title:||Realism Doesn't...: The Challenge of Postmodernism|
|Authors:||Lee, Alison M.|
|Keywords:||English Language and Literature;English Language and Literature|
|Abstract:||<p>This thesis examines the challenges to the techniques and conventions of nineteenth-century Realism--still the dominant frame of reference of Iiterary studies--by recent postmodern British fiction. Such novels as Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdle. Waterland by Graham Swift. Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes and Lanark, by Alasdair Gray among others. Install what are recognizably Realist conventions and concepts and then subvert them from within the very conventions they seek to transgress. Not only do these novels undermine Realist literary conventions, however, they also call into question the ideology behind them. The novels thus draw attention to notions of common sense, truth, meaning, and value not as normal, natural and neutral, but as ideologically produced. Chapter One, therefore, provides a background to, and synopsis of, Realist dictates in the light of critical theories--New Criticism, reader-response criticism, structuralism and post-structuralism--which developed, in part, as reactions to them.</p> <p>The novels discussed in Chapter Two raise questions about traditional ideas of narrative history such as linearity, factual documentation, and emphasis on the primacy of the individual subject. They argue that history is not something which can be known as an unmediated whole, but which, because written, is subject to the same poetic processes as fiction. These "historiographic metafictions" also concern themselves with examining how the individual is created as a subject in ideology. Chapter Three, then, expands on this in a discussion of the performative aspects of postmodern fiction and its concern with the ways in which roles--of novels, of characters, of readers--are created. Chapter Four discusses the mediation of Realist techniques through visual art and film, and the Conclusion points to the prevalence of Realist conventions in popular culture, where postmodern techniques are used to mask, rather than subvert Realist Ideology.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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