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Art and Otherness: Tragic Visions in Modern Literature

Art and Otherness: Tragic Visions in Modern Literature

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Title: Art and Otherness: Tragic Visions in Modern Literature
Author: Karamally, Hamza Ali
Abstract: My dissertation is entitled Art and Otherness: Tragic Visions in Modern Literature. The two main subjects of inquiry I take up are the figure of the otherboth as an expression of phenomenological alterity and as a postcolonial subjectand the representation of this figure in modern literature. I investigate the intersections between these two subjects, i.e. whether art is an especially insightful medium or discourse to discuss the subject of otherness in the sense that it represents a disruption within the nature of experience that resembles the encounter with the other.
As a basic rationale, my dissertation also accordingly attempts a self-reflexivity grounded in problematizing both the formulation of and interaction between competing conventions of otherness. More succinctly, I attempt herein a methodology that reads across discourses whilst remaining on their margins, with the dual purpose of avoiding the self-confirmation of each ratiocination and finding, specifically in art (and in particular literature), a discursive practice that seeks to avoid, or perhaps transcend, a stable definition of otherness.
To effectively probe the various political, psychological, existential and phenomenal aspects of otherness, my project and chapters are organized around these separate but overlapping dimensions. My selected texts are predominantly from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a particular focus on Modernist literature, as the latters anxieties about the nature of art and of the other are particularly useful to probe these and other relevant questions.
I focus primarily on fiction by Joseph Conrad, E.M. Forster, Mary Shelley, Virginia Woolf, Salman Rushdie, Anita Desai, Albert Camus, Kamel Daoud, Don DeLillo, Saadat Hasan Manto, Yann Martel and Herman Melville, to which I apply a variety of theoretical lenses. I juxtapose these texts from different literary canons and maintain a correspondingly interdisciplinary critical approach in order to disentangle the figure of the other from various competing ontological and theoretical systems. My premise for this methodology is that pairing and reading these texts in unusual contexts allows for a drawing out of shared symbology, themes and metaphors and opens up a space for a more robust conversation about the relationship between art and otherness.
Keywords: Literature
Modern Literature
Modernist Literature
Joseph Conrad
E.M. Forster
Mary Shelley
Emmanuel Levinas
Maurice Blanchot
Virginia Woolf
Salman Rushdie
Anita Desai
Albert Camus
Kamel Daoud
Saadat Hasan Manto
Don DeLillo
Max Van Manen
Yann Martel
Herman Melville
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Giles Gunn
Viktor Shklovsky
Monroe Beardsley
Arthur C. Danto
Comparative Literature
Sigmund Freud
Ernst Jentsch
Heart of Darkness
A Passage to India
Il y a
The Waves
The Courter
Baumgartner's Bombay
The Stranger
The Outsider
The Meursault Investigation
Toba Tek Singh
Falling Man
Life of Pi
Moby Dick
The Other
Radical Alterity
Type: Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Rights: Author owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/35552
Supervisor: Shea, Victor
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Program: Humanities
Exam date: 2018-08-09
Publish on: 2018-11-21

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