Fiction, friction and fracture : autobiographic novels as a site for changing discouses [i.e. discourses] around subjectivity, truth and identity

Lombard, Sunell (2008-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2008.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The concept of the self or subject is more relevant now than ever, since society’s perceptions about selfhood are in the process of changing. Autobiography is an important site for the critical discussion of issues surrounding the subject – such as truth, identity formation and agency – seeing that it is one of the most revealing spaces in which these altering perceptions manifest. As can be deduced from the title of my thesis, FICTION, FRICTION AND FRACTURE: Autobiographic Novels as a Site For Changing Discourses Around Subjectivity, Truth and Identity, I explore what autobiographic novels disclose about the notions truth, self-representation and identity formation that emerge from an investigation of the subject. Poststructuralism and feminism have been instrumental in destabilizing the notion of a unified subject as well as any concept that makes universal claims. Throughout this thesis I will be applying poststructuralist and feminist theories around subjectivity to my work as well as the work of a selection of autobiographic novelists, namely Robert Crumb, Dan Clowes, Art Spiegelman and Chris Ware. When referring to autobiographic novels I will be applying Leigh Gilmore’s term autobiographics. Autobiographics introduces a way of thinking about life narrative that focuses on the changing discourses of truth and identity that feature in autobiographical representations of selfhood. I will be utilizing Gilmore’s term since it so neatly encompasses the concepts that I will be investigating.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die konsep van die self of subjek is nou meer as ooit relevant siende dat die samelewing se persepsies omtrent die subjek tans ’n transformasie ondergaan. Outobiografie is ’n belangrike platform vir die kritiese bespreking van idees wat uit besprekings van die subjek vloei – soos waarheid, identiteits konstruksie en agentskap – aangesien die genre ’n duidelike refleksie van die veranderende persepsies lewer. Soos afgelei kan word uit die titel van my skripsie FICTION, FRICTION AND FRACTURE: Autobiographic Novels as a Site For Changing Discourses Around Subjectivity, Truth and Identity, beoog ek om vas te stel wat autobiografiese romans blootlê in terme van konsepte soos waarheid, self-voorstelling en identiteitskonstruksie wat uit die ondersoek rondom die subjek na vore kom. Poststrukturalisme en feminisme speel beide ‘n belangrike rol in die destabilisering van die uniformige subjek asook enige ander konsep wat aanspraak tot enige universiële veronderstellings maak. Ek plaas poststrukturalistiese en feministiese teorie rondom subjektiwiteit deurlopend op my werk, asook the werk van die outobiografiese kunstenaars Robert Crumb, Dan Clowes, Art Spiegelman en Chris Ware toe. Wanneer ek na autobiografiese romans verwys, verwys ek spesifiek na Leigh Gilmore se term autobiografies. Gilmore se interpretasie behels ‘n begrip van outobiografie wat fokus op die veranderende diskoerse van waarheid en identiteit wat in outobiografiese voorstellings van die self voorkom. Ek beoog om haar term te gebruik aangesien dit die konsepte waarna ek kyk duidelik omvat.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/21778
This item appears in the following collections: