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dc.contributor.advisorMcWhirter, Daviden_US
dc.creatorLittle, Michael Roberten_US
dc.date.accessioned2004-09-30T01:55:06Z
dc.date.available2004-09-30T01:55:06Z
dc.date.created2005-05en_US
dc.date.issued2004-09-30
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1969.1/366
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation studies the fictional and non-fictional responses of David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Franzen, and Richard Powers to their felt anxieties about the vitality of literature in contemporary culture. The intangible nature of literature's social value marks the literary as an uneasy, contested, and defensive cultural site. At the same time, the significance of any given cultural artifact or medium, such as television, film, radio, or fiction, is in a continual state of flux. Within that broad context I examine some of the cultural institutions competing with literature for public attention, as well as some of the cultural developments impacting the availability of public attention for literary concerns. With Wallace, I study his efforts in fiction and essays to establish an anti-ironic mode of literary rebellion, in opposition to the culturally pervasive tone of self-protective irony modeled by television. Franzen opens discussion about the transience of cultural authority, a situation in which the imprimatur of the academy, for instance, confers a cultural significance different in kind but not degree from the imprimatur of a popular televised book club. My study of Franzen in particular demonstrates the impact of proliferating sites of cultural authority, addressing the emergence of middlebrow culture and audiences from contested space to authoritative cultural arbiter. The chapter on Franzen also examines the increasing role of corporate interests in the production of cultural artifacts with an eye toward their financial viability more than their cultural impact. And finally, my study of Powers focuses on the animosity between the sciences and the humanities. Powers produces fiction that serves as an indispensable tool for communicating between disparate and otherwise isolated disciplines, and for helping those specialized fields synthesize their information with others.en_US
dc.format.extent474007 bytes
dc.format.extent382468 bytes
dc.format.mediumelectronicen_US
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.format.mimetypetext/plain
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.publisherTexas A&M Universityen_US
dc.subject20th century american literatureen_US
dc.subjectcultural authorityen_US
dc.subjectscience and humanitiesen_US
dc.subjectironyen_US
dc.subjecttelevision and literatureen_US
dc.titleNovel affirmations: defending literary culture in the fiction of David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Franzen, and Richard Powersen_US
dc.typeBooken
dc.typeThesisen
thesis.degree.departmentEnglishen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEnglishen_US
thesis.degree.grantorTexas A&M Universityen_US
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophyen_US
thesis.degree.levelDoctoralen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberRobinson, Sallyen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberO'Farrell, Mary Annen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberDaniel, Stephenen_US
dc.type.genreElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.type.materialtexten_US
dc.format.digitalOriginborn digitalen_US


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