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

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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 ... continued below

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Bradley, Darin Colbert May 2007.

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  • Bradley, Darin Colbert

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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 Miéville, and many others, explores new ideas about narrative "coherence" from the points of view of self as they are presented today by cognitive, narratological, psychological, sociological, and semiotic theories.

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Theses and dissertations represent a wealth of scholarly and artistic content created by masters and doctoral students in the degree-seeking process. Some ETDs in this collection are restricted to use by the UNT community.

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  • May 2007

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  • Sept. 28, 2007, 9:50 p.m.

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  • Jan. 21, 2014, 4:18 p.m.

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Bradley, Darin Colbert. The Little Weird: Self and Consciousness in Contemporary, Small-press, Speculative Fiction, dissertation, May 2007; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3703/: accessed December 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .