Monstrous Textualities - Writing the Other in Gothic Narratives from Mary Shelley to Margaret Atwood, Angela Carter, Shelley Jackson and Toni Morrison

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Dokumentart: PhDThesis
Date: 2021-07-15
Language: English
Faculty: 5 Philosophische Fakultät
Department: Anglistik, Amerikanistik
Advisor: West-Pavlov, Russell (Prof. Dr. Dr.)
Day of Oral Examination: 2019-07-05
DDC Classifikation: 420 - English and Old English
800 - Literature and rhetoric
810 - American literature in English
820 - English and Old English literatures
Keywords: gothic , Ungeheuer , Text , Textualität , Horror , Literatur
Other Keywords:
monstrous textuality
monster text
narrative of resistance
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Dissertation ist in einem Verlag erschienen. Sie ist in der Unibibliothek Tübingen verfügbar unter der Signatur 61 A 3634:1 bzw. 61 A 3634:2


This study begins with a basic thesis about monstrous textuality in Gothic narratives – namely that texts like Frankenstein reflect the monstrous in their narrative structure and that this structural particularity can be connected to critical arguments about the textual representation of marginalized Others. By reading Mary Shelley's novel as an example of monstrous textuality – manifested by an open structure, multi-perspectivity and a multitude of intertextual and discursive connections – the introductory chapter on Frankenstein provides a basis for a more complex argument about Gothic narratives of resistance that allow marginalized writers to foreground meta-narrative critical explorations of textual production in their poetics and reclaim authority over their work under circumstances of systemic cultural omission and oppression of the Other. The methodology of this study draws on a concept of posthumanist literary criticism developed by Rosi Braidotti, foregrounding strategies of non-linearity and de-familiarization, a focus on memory and ethical accountability and a blurring of the boundaries between theory and narrative (see Braidotti, “A Theoretical Framework for the Critical Posthumanities”). Reading literary texts from Toni Morrison's Beloved (1987) and Love (2003), via Angela Carter's Nights at the Circus (1984) and Margaret Atwood's Lady Oracle (1976) as well as her Maddaddam trilogy (2003-13) to Shelley Jackson's hypertext novel Patchwork Girl (1995) within this critical framework, the main part of this study also addresses related theoretical contexts – from Derridean and Black feminist hauntology, via feminist literary theory between second-wave politics and the third-wave's questioning of binaries to posthumanist criticism and cyborg reading and writing practices – to eventually present a more comprehensive argument about how these texts might be read within a framework of critical posthumanist questioning of knowledge production and epistemological exploration beyond the exclusionary humanist paradigm.

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