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The work of David Foster Wallace and post-postmodernism

Nixon, Charles Reginald (2013) The work of David Foster Wallace and post-postmodernism. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis uses the work of David Foster Wallace to exemplify two definitions of the term 'post-postmodernism'. I examine the literary connotation of 'post-postmodernism' – thus far, its predominant critical application – identifying the key characteristics of its form and addressing the centrality of Wallace's writing to its study. I extend this by showing how the term post-postmodern identifies a clear historical period and its cultural practices. Through detailed analyses of Wallace's work, I show the overlaps between post-postmodernist literature and the historical and cultural logic from which it emerged. This detailed argument not only allows me to establish the significance of Wallace's writing as both reflection of and critical intervention into the contemporary period, it also allows me to establish a contextualized significance for the study of 'post-postmodernism' in a variety of contexts and forms. My study takes in a variety of literary genres from Wallace's corpus, in order to produce a comprehensive reading of the implications of his work. It is organized around the central thematic strands of post-postmodernist literature, complemented by briefer discussions of the style and form such literature takes. These are all presented such that they establish that Wallace's writing is a primary exemplar of post-postmodernist literature; but also that his writing demonstrates a broader critical understanding of the term. Each set of readings is carefully contextualized to allow me to show the contiguous nature of the multiple uses of the term post-postmodernism. In my conclusion, I turn to address the broader significance of the detailed and multivalent definition of post-postmodernism that this thesis produces.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
ISBN: 978-0-85731-828-2
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of English (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.617143
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2014 15:07
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2015 13:45
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6873

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