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In the Beginning was the Word: Hebraic Intertextuality and Critical Inquiry of Ambrose Bierce

Description: This study corroborates theories that ordinary representation of narrative time as a linear series of "nows" hides the true constitution of time and that it is advantageous for us as readers and critics to consider alternatives to progressive reality and linear discourse in order to comprehend many of Ambrose Bierce's stories, for his discourse is fluid and metonymic and defies explication within traditional western language concepts. The Hebraic theory of intertextuality encourages limitless considerations in textual analysis since language is perceived as a creative and dynamic force, not merely mimetic. As such it offers a means for reconsideration of fundamental theories concerning the natures of language and time in Bierce's stories.
Date: August 1990
Creator: Streng, Rodney L. (Rodney Lin)
Partner: UNT Libraries

She "Too much of water hast": Drownings and Near-Drownings in Twentieth-Century American Literature by Women

Description: Drowning is a frequent mode of death for female literary characters because of the strong symbolic relationship between female sexuality and water. Drowning has long been a punishment for sexually transgressive women in literature. In the introduction, Chapter 1, I describe the drowning paradigm and analyze drowning scenes in several pre-twentieth century works to establish the tradition which twentieth-century women writers begin to transcend. In Chapter 2, I discuss three of Kate Chopin's works which include drownings, demonstrating her transition from traditional drowning themes in At Fault and “Desiree's Baby” to the drowning in The Awakening, which prefigures the survival of protagonists in later works. I discuss one of these in Chapter 3: Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. Although Janie must rely on her husband to save her from the flood, she survives, though her husband does not. In Chapter 4, I discuss two stories by Eudora Welty, “Moon Lake” and “The Wide Net.” In “Moon Lake,” Easter nearly drowns as a corollary to her adolescent sexual awakening. Although her resuscitation is a brutal simulation of a rape, Easter survives. “The Wide Net” is a comic story that winks at the drowning woman tradition, showing a young bride who pretends to drown in order to recapture the affections of her husband. Chapter 5 analyzes a set of works by Margaret Atwood. Lady Oracle includes another faked drowning, while “The Whirlpool Rapids” and “Walking on Water” feature a protagonist who feels invulnerable after her near-drowning. The Blind Assassin includes substantial drowning imagery. Chapter 6 discusses current trends in near-drowning fiction, focusing on the river rafting adventure stories of Pam Houston.
Date: December 2001
Creator: Coffelt, J. Roberta
Partner: UNT Libraries

Richard Wilbur and the Poetry of Apocalyptic Interstices

Description: In my dissertation I assert that Wilbur's poetry is not so much an attempt to balance spiritual and physical realities as an attempt to mine the richness that exists in the boundary between the two worlds. I also examine and comment on his poetry that exists in the space created by other apocalyptic interstices as well.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Compton, Randall D. (Randall Dean), 1964-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Time Past and Time Present: Hawthorne and Warren in the American Literary Continuum

Description: Although Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) and Robert Penn Warren (1905- ) belong to different periods of American literary history, the thematic parallels in their fiction indicate their close association in the American tradition of the romance and demonstrate ideological correspondences between writers of the New England Renaissance and the Southern Renaissance. Hawthorne and Warren are appropriate subjects for comparison not only because they represent the two greatest periods of American literary production but also because they share, across the span of a century, a common view of the human condition. This study focuses on one idea or cluster of ideas in each chapter with concentration on one major fictional work by each author. Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" (1835) and Warren's "Blackberry Winter" (1946) are classic treatments of initiation. Each author utilizes archetypal patterns to dramatize the possibilities for moral, emotional, and psychological maturity. In Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables (1851) and Warren's Band of Angels (1955), the theme of initiation is expanded to incorporate understanding and accepting the past. Alienation becomes the dominant theme in Hawthorne's Blithedale Romance (1852) and Warren's At Heaven's Gate (1943). Through the pain of self-discovery, characters in Hawthorne's The Marble Faun (1860) and Warren's The Cave (1959) demonstrate man's need to penetrate the heart of his existence and the core of his identity. In these novels, Hawthorne and Warren develop the concepts of original sin and the fortunate fall. An analysis of the parallels in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter (1850) and Warren's All the King's Men (1946) reveals that each author wove the thematic fabric of his masterpiece out of themes dramatized in his other works and enhanced these ideas with the comprehensive theme of redemption through suffering. The parallels in the fiction of Hawthorne and Warren contribute to a view of American literature ...
Date: August 1980
Creator: Harris, F. Janet (Frances Janet)
Partner: UNT Libraries