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Getting out of Strange Spaces: A Reconstructive Reading of Paul Auster’s Oracle Night
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities, English.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

As the title of this essay suggests, Paul Auster’s 2003 novel Oracle Night is studied with regard to what is here considered to be a search for a way out of estrangement. This search, as narrated from the point of view of the protagonist, is followed by a certain recognition of the limits of human existence – which may be essentially meaningless but is nevertheless portrayed as an intentional state of being, not least through the act of writing as a means of subjectification. Thus, the novel is read with a special focus on the thematic representation of writing and human subjectivity. These overarching themes may be approached with reference to two different philosophies or theoretical positions – postmodernism and existentialism. The purpose of the essay is to study the extent to which Oracle Night may be understood in terms of an existentialist (reconstructive) critique of, or challenge to, a postmodernist (deconstructive) perspective. In order to follow this line of inquiry, the analytic method rests on narrative thematics. This kind of narratological study answers the question what Auster’s novel is about and in what ways the theoretical perspectives in question are expressed in the novel. Thematic motifs are examined within the frame of a six-step model of narrative units. These units are based on Carsten Springer’s (2001) elaboration on the theme of identity crisis in Auster’s fiction and made it possible to put different motifs into a context and convey the point of view of the text in a systematic way.   

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 43
Keywords [en]
critique, deconstruction, desubjectification, estrangement, existentialism, literary theory, narratology, postmodernism, reconstruction, strange spaces, subjectivity, subjectification, thematic analysis, themes, thematic units, thematic motifs, writing
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Specific Literatures
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-29353OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-29353DiVA, id: diva2:1294112
Subject / course
English
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Available from: 2019-03-11 Created: 2019-03-06 Last updated: 2019-03-11Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
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