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Title:The Structural And Thematic Function Of Walking In The Modernist European Urban Novel: Bely's "peterburg", Joyce's "ulysses" And Doeblin's "berlin Alexanderplatz". (andrei Bely, Russia, James Joyce, Ireland, Alfred Doeblin, Germany)
Author(s):Barta, Peter I.
Department / Program:Comparative and World Literature
Discipline:Comparative and World Literature
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Literature, Comparative
Literature, Germanic
Literature, Slavic and East European
Literature, English
Abstract:Bely's Peterburg (1916), Joyce's Ulysses (1922) and Doblin's Berlin Alexanderplatz (1929) are the three most successful and comprehensive specimens of the modernist European urban novel. This dissertation offers, for the first time, a comparative examination of these works through a feature which is common to all three on both a thematic and a structural level: walking.
Thematically, the endless strolling about has to do with a search for comforting spaces which the metropolis tends to deny its sons and daughters both inside and outside the walls of the home. Structurally, the college, or montage, of sensual impressions and the resulting mental reactions, together with the haphazardly heaped up pieces of the mosaic of the metropolis, are all the product of to the day-long wanderings about the city of narrators and protagonists alike.
In the interpretation of the walking about, the phenomenological approach has proved to be productive. The flaneurs constantly trans- gress the boundaries of spatial and temporal dimensions. In order to determine the values of the city as lived-in space, all phenomena--imaginary, "supernatural," "ordinary" and every-day--need to be assumed to have equal rank. The "walking perspective" of the three novels is created in highly plural texts. The often chaotic disorder and confusion in the reader's consciousness, where the novel primarily exists, elicit an impression very similar to that which the modern metropolis itself provokes.
The first chapter surveys the two main roots of the modernist city novel: the fictional portrayals of life in cities, and the theme of the lonely walker about the streets--the flaneur. The succeeding three chapters treat of each novel individually and in relation to the other works, with the focus on the activity of walking.
Issue Date:1986
Type:Text
Description:198 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1986.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/71474
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8711772
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1986


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