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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Degree Discipline: English
 Degree Level: Doctoral
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
The Little Weird: Self and Consciousness in Contemporary, Small-press, Speculative Fiction

The Little Weird: Self and Consciousness in Contemporary, Small-press, Speculative Fiction

Date: May 2007
Creator: Bradley, Darin Colbert
Description: This dissertation explores how contemporary, small-press, speculative fiction deviates from other genres in depicting the processes of consciousness in narrative. I study how the confluence of contemporary cognitive theory and experimental, small-press, speculative fiction has produced a new narrative mode, one wherein literature portrays not the product of consciousness but its process instead. Unlike authors who worked previously in the stream-of-consciousness or interior monologue modes, writers in this new narrative mode (which this dissertation refers to as "the little weird") use the techniques of recursion, narratological anachrony, and Ulric Neisser's "ecological self" to avoid the constraints of textual linearity that have historically prevented other literary modes from accurately portraying the operations of "self." Extrapolating from Mieke Bal's seminal theory of narratology; Tzvetan Todorov's theory of the fantastic; Daniel C. Dennett's theories of consciousness; and the works of Darko Suvin, Robert Scholes, Jean Baudrillard, and others, I create a new mode not for classifying categories of speculative fiction, but for re-envisioning those already in use. This study, which concentrates on the work of progressive, small-press, speculative writers such as Kelly Link, Forrest Aguirre, George Saunders, Jeffrey Ford, China MiƩville, and many others, explores new ideas about narrative "coherence" from the points ...
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Love Poem with Exiles

Love Poem with Exiles

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Date: May 2010
Creator: Quintanilla, Octavio
Description: Love Poem with Exiles is a collection of poems with a critical preface. The poems are varied in terms of subject matter and form. In the critical preface, I discuss my relationship with poetry as well as the idea that we inherit poems, and that if we are inspired by them, we can transform them into something new.
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The Map and the Territory in the Poetry of Wallace Stevens

The Map and the Territory in the Poetry of Wallace Stevens

Date: December 2009
Creator: Thompson, Erik Robb
Description: In this dissertation, Wallace Stevens' imagination-reality problem as depicted in his poetry is discussed in terms of an eco-critical map-territory divide. Stevens's metaphor of "the necessary angel" acts to mediate human necessity, the map, with natural necessity, the territory, in order to retain contact with changing cultural and environmental conditions. At stake in this mediation are individual freedom and the pertinence of the imagination to the experience of reality. In Chapter 2, the attempt at reconciliation of these two necessities will be described in terms of surrealism. Stevens's particular approach to surrealism emphasizes separating and delineating natural necessity from human necessity so that through the poem the reader can experience the miracle of their reconciliation. In Chapter 3, this delineation of the two necessities, map and territory, will be examined against Modernist "decreation," which is the stripping bare of human perception for the purpose of regaining glimpses of the first idea of the external world. And in Chapter 4, Stevens's approach to the problem of the map-territory divide will be considered against his alienation or internal exile: balancing nature and identity through mediating fictions results in a compromised approach to the marriage of mind and culture in a historically situated ...
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Mark Twain, Nevada Frontier Journalism, and the "Territorial Enterprise" : Crisis in Credibility

Mark Twain, Nevada Frontier Journalism, and the "Territorial Enterprise" : Crisis in Credibility

Date: May 1995
Creator: Wienandt, Christopher
Description: This dissertation is an attempt to give a picture of the Nevada frontier journalist Samuel L. Clemens and the surroundings in which he worked. It is also an assessment of the extent to which Clemens (and his alter ego Twain) can be considered a serious journalist and the extent to which he violated the very principles he championed.
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Metaphors, Myths, and Archetypes: Equal Paradigmatic Functions in Human Cognition?

Metaphors, Myths, and Archetypes: Equal Paradigmatic Functions in Human Cognition?

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Date: December 2002
Creator: Kalpakidis, Charalabos
Description: The overview of contributions to metaphor theory in Chapters 1 and 2, examined in reference to recent scholarship, suggests that the current theory of metaphor derives from long-standing traditions that regard metaphor as a crucial process of cognition. This overview calls to attention the necessity of a closer inspection of previous theories of metaphor. Chapter 3 takes initial steps in synthesizing views of domains of inquiry into cognitive processes of the human mind. It draws from cognitive models developed in linguistics and anthropology, taking into account hypotheses put forth by psychologists like Jung. It sets the stage for an analysis that intends to further understanding of how the East-West dichotomy guides, influences, and expresses cognitive processes. Although linguist George Lakoff denies the existence of a connection between metaphors, myths, and archetypes, Chapter 3 illustrates the possibility of a relationship among these phenomena. By synthesizing theoretical approaches, Chapter 3 initiates the development of a model suitable for the analysis of the East-West dichotomy as exercised in Chapter 4. As purely emergent from bodily experience, however, neither the concept of the East nor the concept of the West can be understood completely. There exist cultural experiences that may, depending on historical and ...
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The Monstrance: A Collection of Poems

The Monstrance: A Collection of Poems

Date: May 1994
Creator: Dietrich, Bryan D. (Bryan David)
Description: These poems deconstruct Mary Shelley's monster from a spiritually Chthonian, critically post-structuralist creative stance. But the process here is not simple disruption of the original discourse; this poetry cycle transforms the monster's traditional body, using what pieces are left from reception/vivisection to reconstruct, through gradual accretion, new authority for each new form, each new appendage.
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Moral Training for Nature's Egotists: Mentoring Relationships in George Eliot's Fiction

Moral Training for Nature's Egotists: Mentoring Relationships in George Eliot's Fiction

Date: August 2001
Creator: Schweers, Ellen H.
Description: George Eliot's fiction is filled with mentoring relationships which generally consist of a wise male mentor and a foolish, egotistic female mentee. The mentoring narratives relate the conversion of the mentee from narcissism to selfless devotion to the community. By retaining the Christian value of self-abnegation and the Christian tendency to devalue nature, Eliot, nominally a secular humanist who abandoned Christianity, reveals herself still to be a covert Christian. In Chapter 1 I introduce the moral mentoring theme and provide background material. Chapter 2 consists of an examination of Felix Holt, which clearly displays Eliot's crucial dichotomy: the moral is superior to the natural. In Chapter 3 I present a Freudian analysis of Gwendolen Harleth, the mentee most fully developed. In Chapter 4 I examine two early mentees, who differ from later mentees primarily in that they are not egotists and can be treated with sympathy. Chapter 5 covers three gender-modified relationships. These relationships show contrasting views of nature: in the Dinah Morris-Hetty Sorrel narrative, like most of the others, Eliot privileges the transcendence of nature. The other two, Mary Garth-Fred Vincy and Dolly Winthrop-Silas Marner, are exceptions as Eliot portrays in them a Wordsworthian reconciliation with nature. In Chapter ...
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The Museum of Coming Apart

The Museum of Coming Apart

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Date: May 2009
Creator: Lee, Bethany Tyler
Description: This dissertation comprises two parts: Part I, which discusses use of second person pronoun in contemporary American poetry; and Part II, The Museum of Coming Apart, which is a collection of poems. As confessional verse became a dominant mode in American poetry in the late 1950s and early 60s, so too did the use of the first-person pronoun. Due in part to the excesses of later confessionalism, however, many contemporary poets hesitate to use first person for fear that their work might be read as autobiography. The poetry of the 1990s and early 2000s has thus been characterized by distance, dissociation, and fracture as poets attempt to remove themselves from the overtly emotional and intimate style of the confessionals. However, other contemporary poets have sought to straddle the line between the earnestness and linearity of confessionalism and the intellectually playful yet emotionally detached poetry of the moment. One method for striking this balance is to employ the second person pronoun. Because "you" in English is ambiguous, it allows the poet to toy with the level of distance in a poem and create evolving relationships between the speaker and reader. Through the analysis of poems by C. Dale Young, Paul Guest, ...
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Myths, Hierophanies, and Sacraments in William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha Fiction

Myths, Hierophanies, and Sacraments in William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha Fiction

Date: May 1995
Creator: Zimmermann, David H. (David Howard)
Description: Critical reactions to the religious experiences contained in William Faulkner's fiction have tended to fall within the context of traditional Christian belief systems. In most instances, the characters' beliefs have been judged by the tenets of belief systems or religions that are not necessarily those on which the characters base their lives. There has been no effort to understand the characters' spirituality as the basis of an independent religious belief system. Mircea Eliade's methods and models in the study of comparative religion, in particular his explanation of the interaction of the sacred and the profane during a hierophany (the manifestation of the sacred), can be applied to the belief systems of Faulkner's characters to reveal the theologies of the characters' religions, the nature of the belief systems on which they base their lives. Identification of those stories associated with hierophanies in Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha fiction enables the isolation and analysis of the sacred stories and sacraments of Yoknapatawpha County's civil religion. The storytellings examined appear in Flags in the Dust, "A Justice," and Absalom, Absalom!. The storytellers and the audiences are all a part of the Yoknapatawpha community, and the stories are drawn from a common history. The sacralization and use ...
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The Naturalist

The Naturalist

Date: August 2004
Creator: Harvell, Elizabeth A.
Description: The Naturalist is a collection of poems with a critical preface. In this preface, titled "'Death is the mother of beauty': The Contemporary Elegy and the Search for the Dead," I examine contemporary alterations and manifestations of the traditional genre of elegy. I explore the idea that the contemporary mourner is aware of the need to search for meaning despite living in a world without a centrally believed mythology. This search exposes the mourner's need to remain connected to the dead and, by proxy, to grace. I conclude that the contemporary elegy, through metaphorical figuration, personal memory, and traditional symbolism, simultaneously employs and denies the traditional elegiac conventions of apotheosis and resurrection by reconceiving them as methods not of achieving transcendence but of embracing desire with an acceptance of the inability to transcend. The poems of The Naturalist are a collection of elegies that reflect many of the ideas brought forth in the preface.
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