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Title:The Forms of Fiction: The Physical Text in The Works of Henry James, Gertrude Stein, William Faulkner, James Joyce, and William Gass
Author(s):Kaufmann, Michael Edward
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Modern
Literature, American
Literature, English
Abstract:When the novel was first introduced in the eighteenth century, it was aware of itself as a document, as a collection of printed words--a diary, a bundle of letters, a logbook. Through time, however, readers became accustomed to print and began looking through the printed form of the novel to its narrative. The physical text was "backgrounded."
In the twentieth century, writers became aware of the influence of print on language and so sought to reintroduce the physical text of the novel into the narrative. This study traces the process of that reintroduction from early Modernist works to contemporary ones. It extends from Henry James's The Golden Bowl, Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons, William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, James Joyce's Finnegans Wake, and William Gass's Willie Master's Lonesome Wife. Each writer incorporates a larger share of the text into the narrative until finally--in Finnegans Wake and Willie Master's--the text is the narrative.
Paradoxically, as the printed aspect of the text comes to the forefront, so does its aural aspect. In Finnegans Wake and Willie Master's, the visual and aural components of the text play against each other. In his writing, Gass uses the page against itself to return language to "the world of orality" from which it came.
Issue Date:1987
Description:200 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8711819
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1987

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