AuthorOlsen, Thomas Grant
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractNovel Incest: Negotiating Narrative Paradox, investigates how representations of incest disrupt not only family relationships but narrative conventions as well. The conventions governing a narrative's structural movement from beginning to end are upset in ways that often mimic the destruction of family lineage that incest causes. Each narrative instance of incest marks reconsideration not only of Western kinship systems and, more recently, the discourse of bourgeois family structures, but also of specific aspects of the rhetoric of fiction. This history of family and narrative disruption is sketched in my analysis of such seemingly disparate texts as Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders; Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier; John Barth's novels and non-fiction, including The End of the Road, The Floating Opera, The Sot-Weed Factor, Giles Goat-Boy, Lost in the Funhouse, The Friday Book, Further Fridays, LETTERS, Sabbatical, The Tidewater Tales, The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor, and Once Upon a Time ; David Lynch's films, including The Alphabet, The Grandmother, Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Dune, Blue Velvet, and Wild at Heart, and the pornographic film series Taboo I--XVIII . My analysis focuses on author- and reader-centered interpretations and includes both formal and thematic analysis. Psychoanalytic and deconstructive reading strategies are employed to investigate the intersections formed between narrative, rhetoric, and desire. The common thread connecting these texts is their unraveling of conventions in order to restructure the possibilities for narrative fiction.
Degree ProgramGraduate College