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GENRE AND LANGUAGE: DEFINING TEMPORAL, PHYSICAL AND NON-PHYSICAL SPACES IN SPECULATIVE TECHNO-DYSTOPIAN FICTION

Packer, Mary (2019) GENRE AND LANGUAGE: DEFINING TEMPORAL, PHYSICAL AND NON-PHYSICAL SPACES IN SPECULATIVE TECHNO-DYSTOPIAN FICTION. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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Abstract

My second novel, The Game is Altered (hereafter TGiA), is a hybrid literary form. Its distinctiveness arises out of the fact that it successfully draws on a mixture of genres, tropes and linguistic devices to delineate the spatio-temporal textual environment as well as the fictive space of the novel. This, the accompanying exegesis, examines the associated issues of genre that hybridity brings, with particular focus on dystopian, outsider and existential fiction. It goes on to examine issues of space and time in the novel with an emphasis on linguistic forms and how they define and depict fictive representations of the real and the virtual and concludes that TGiA has, to a greater or lesser extent, successfully defined its temporal, psycho-social and fictive spaces and in doing so has expressed the techno-dystopian concepts that conform to the emerging speculative, posthuman literary phenomenon.

Chapter one begins by locating TGiA within dystopian, outsider and existentialist fiction. The analysis focuses on narratives that encompass techno-dystopian visions such as Neuromancer (Gibson, 1984) and “The Machine Stops” (Forster, 1909) and goes on to examine the case for TGiA as a quasi-migration/diasporic narrative, as well as comparing TGiA with existential novels that deal with authenticity and identity. Chapter two analyses issues of time and space in TGiA with specific reference to Bakhtin’s theory of the literary chronotope (1937) and Elena Gomel’s notion of timeshape (2010). There is further analysis of the relationship between utopian and dystopian places as well as virtual spaces as an escapist (or anti-alienation) tool that connote a non-hegemonic safe space in the vein of Foucault’s concept of heterotopia (1967). The chapter moves to issues of language and outlines various types of invented language from full grammatical/syntactical creations to more stylised, compound formations including code poetry from practitioners such as Mez Breeze. The chapter also recounts how the language in TGiA evolved and makes comparisons with Riddley Walker (Hoban, 1980) and Cloud Atlas (Mitchell, 2004). Here, I propose that what sets the novel apart from other speculative narratives is that rather than using more traditional, temporal or culturally anchored language shifts, the language transformations in TGiA delineate real and virtual spaces as well as the fictive space of the novel.

Finally, the exegesis concludes that through the elision of dystopian, existential and outsider tropes the novel represents a significant contribution to existing and emerging literary oeuvres and successfully delineates temporal, psycho-social and fictive spaces through the use of alternating standard and stylised language.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
Depositing User: Rebecca Hill
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2019 10:19
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2019 10:30
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/34910

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