The voice behind the curtain: Hollywood, the metamodern and the sense of loss & Dinosaurs: a novel

White, N (2022) The voice behind the curtain: Hollywood, the metamodern and the sense of loss & Dinosaurs: a novel. PhD thesis, Bath Spa University.

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This thesis will reflect upon specific narrative structures, and the application of narrative devices, explored in the creation of my novel Dinosaurs. The object of this research is to examine the effects/affects of these creative choices within a critical framework using comparative texts and films that employ similar techniques or share, to my eye, similar aesthetic and thematic concerns that could be said to interrupt a habituative reading of the novel form. The central focus of this thesis will be to examine how effective I have been in creating empathy towards a misogynistic, solipsistic protagonist who has little regard for the people in his life, or society at large. As with Meursault, Walter exhibits signs of anomie that prevent him from engaging with the world in a meaningful way, and thus excuse his behaviour by a process of sophisticated self-rationalisation. As the novel progresses, there are questions surrounding Walter’s perception of reality: of who is narrating the novel and from what point of view are we experiencing the narrative. This raises questions of male identity and selfhood predominant in contextual works from the 80s and 90s within this thesis, while also examining the schizophrenic nature of certain texts. I intend to explore the effectiveness of distancing my subject as a means of creating empathy. This technique of a narrator perceived at a distance from subject to create a sense of danger can be seen in several of my comparative texts and bares exploration in terms of its application to a single individual. By examining contemporary novels and films that have experimented with various postmodern and metamodern techniques, I hope to understand how specific characteristics of such fiction negotiate the space between signifier and signified, and thus afford an opportunity for a discourse between reader and text that occupies a space outside of the narrative. I am also aware that much of my contextual fiction is based in the 90s and focuses, it seems, on the fragility of the male ego. I have therefore experimented with certain references and technologies within my novel that deliberately blur time in order to reflect similar themes that might serve to critique the male ego and highlight a lack of emotional progression within my own protagonist.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: PhD by Practice, creative writing, narrative structure, narrative voice, fiction, misogyny, male identity, selfhood, 1980s, 1990s
Divisions: School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
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Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2022 17:19
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2024 18:31
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