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Intertextual Masculinities and the Struggle for Self-Reflexivity: A Quixotic Investigation of the Novels of J. M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, Philip Roth and Mario Vargas Llosa

Rossoni, Stefano; (2017) Intertextual Masculinities and the Struggle for Self-Reflexivity: A Quixotic Investigation of the Novels of J. M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, Philip Roth and Mario Vargas Llosa. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

My thesis studies the struggle for self-discovery of heterosexual masculinities in the self-reflexive novels of J. M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, Philip Roth and Mario Vargas Llosa. The theoretical context is provided by the literary studies of Middleton (1992) and Schwenger (1984), who emphasise men’s difficulties in writing self-consciously about their gender, and the lack of language for such a reflection. Interpreting the textual practices that Coetzee, Kundera, Roth and Vargas Llosa adopt as a (direct or indirect) response to the legacy of Don Quixote, I argue that their intratextual interplay and intertextual references convert the traditions of the self-reflexive novel into a space through which to express the limits of male self-reflexivity and men’s struggle with emotion. Chapter One focuses on Coetzee’s Disgrace and its protagonist, Lurie, a delusional seducer inspired by Byron’s life. I discuss how Lurie is defined by an inability to read his of emotion, and examine his opera, Byron in Italy, as an attempt to overcome the opacity of his desire. Chapter Two examines the coming of age in Kundera’s Life is Elsewhere and Roth’s The Professor of Desire in the light of Gombrowicz and his notions of form and immaturity. Chapter Three investigates heterosexual masculinity as an attempt to claim authorship in Kundera’s Slowness, Vargas Llosa’s Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter and Roth’s My Life as a Man. Chapter Four addresses how the affective crises of JC and Rigoberto, the ageing protagonists of Coetzee’s Diary of a Bad Year and Vargas Llosa’s The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto, inform their essayistic writing and its hybrid relation to fiction.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Intertextual Masculinities and the Struggle for Self-Reflexivity: A Quixotic Investigation of the Novels of J. M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, Philip Roth and Mario Vargas Llosa
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10040598
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