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Ideas that Matter: Strategies of Intertextuality in A. S. Byatt's Fiction

Franchi, Barbara (2017) Ideas that Matter: Strategies of Intertextuality in A. S. Byatt's Fiction. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:61262)

Language: English

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What is the role of intertextuality and ekphrasis in A. S. Byatt's novels and short stories? How does Byatt deploy intertextuality to address the relationship between art as experience and representation? And how do intertextuality and ekphrasis enhance creativity and destructive forces across characters, texts and discourses? This thesis examines how the numerous intertextual and ekphrastic references in Byatt's fiction challenge and complicate the crucial relationship between ideas and matter, and between mental processes and bodily experiences.

The two final chapters shift their attention from the metatextual, theoretical perspective of the first part and focus on how Byatt deploys intertextual strategies to address political and historical discourses, in particular war trauma and the construction of national identity. Where the weight of history defines material existence, intertextuality unleashes its most creative powers of self-defence and survival, and allows characters to defend themselves, through mythology and storytelling, against the traumas of war and cross-cultural encounters.

Ultimately, Byatt's are stories of individual development: intertextuality and ekphrasis thus become the ultimate strategies with which her protagonists are given agency over themselves, either to fight for their own emancipation, or be the tragic cause of their own self-destruction.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Cregan-Reid, Vybarr
Uncontrolled keywords: A.S. Byatt; intertextuality; post-structuralism; metatextuality; contemporary literature; neo-Victorian fiction.
Subjects: P Language and Literature
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of English
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2017 17:00 UTC
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 03:16 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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