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Kafka, Beckett, Onetti - a poetics of existential estrangement : notes towards the definition of a subgenre
Butler, David
THESIS 6658 The following thesis was researched and written during the period October 1998 to September 2001 at Trinity College, Dublin. It originated as an investigation into the adequacy of the term 'existentialist' as applied to the writing of Juan Carlos Onetti. Two field bursaries made it possible to visit Universities and National Libraries in Madrid, Montevideo and Buenos Aires so as to ensure the originality of the work. The thesis compares the ontology underlying characterisation in Onetti's work with that of both Kafka and Beckett. A main finding is that while all three are phenomenologically informed, all radically defamiliarise, and indeed distort, the main dimensions of such an ontology. Four chief parameters or dimensions of this estranged ontology are identified: temporality; spatiality; language and embodiment. Each is given a full chapter in which an aesthetic of 'existential estrangement' common to Kafka, Beckett and Onetti is posited. Several concepts of the Russian theorist Mikhail Bakhtin, notably the chronotope, eventness and reduced laughter, are found to be useful in suggesting that the work of the above authors constitutes a sub-genre. A major finding of the study is that the estranged ontological parameters which govern the fictional universes of Kafka, Beckett and Onetti so undermine the possibility of meaningful choice that to categorise any of them as 'existential' is entirely misleading. Each chapter is designed to be a self-standing unit, and chapter 2 (on temporality) is to be published in the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (Glasgow) in 2002.
Keyword(s): Spanish, Ph.D.; Ph.D. Trinity College Dublin
Publication Date:
Type: Doctoral thesis
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Citation(s): David Butler, 'Kafka, Beckett, Onetti - a poetics of existential estrangement : notes towards the definition of a subgenre', [thesis], Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland). Department of Hispanic Studies, 2002, pp 269
Publisher(s): Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland). Department of Hispanic Studies
Supervisor(s): Cosgrove, Ciaran
First Indexed: 2016-12-17 07:26:11 Last Updated: 2017-07-06 05:29:00