Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
This paper seeks to examine theoretical aspects of the narrative by exploring the elements of time and structure that constitute selected novels of D.M. Thomas, Doris Lessing, and John Fowles. Specifically, this paper will explore the spatiotemporal aspects of the narrative, including the impact of chronological arrangement and structural organization on the formation of meaning.
The novels examined in this paper-The White Hotel, The French Lieutenant's Woman, and The Golden Notebook- challenge assumptions about the interpretation of narrative and the validity of the novel as commentary on the human condition. Each seeks new ways of narration and new ways to challenge form and tradition. Because these types of confrontation are consistent with a postmodern aesthetic, this paper will examine the theories of such postmodern thinkers as Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, and Jean Baudrillard. Doing so will provide background for its exploration into such issues as the use of pastiche by postmodern authors, the presentation of fragmented narratives, the confusion of narrative voice, and the overall challenge to authority that is a defining aspect of postmodernism.
The overall purpose of this paper is to consider whether or not the disordered temporality, fragmented structure, confused narration, and oppositional stance of the postmodernism novel signals an abrogation of fictional narrative as a fundamental human activity and need.
McElroy, Thomas F., "Postmodernism in the Contemporary Novel : Non-linear and Dyssynchronous Elements in the Narratives of The White Hotel, The Golden Notebook, and The French Lieutenant's Woman" (2001). English Master’s Theses. 85.