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A Poetics of Chaos: Schizoanalysis and Post modern American Fiction.

Benzon, K.; (2007) A Poetics of Chaos: Schizoanalysis and Post modern American Fiction. Doctoral thesis , University of London. Green open access

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In "A Poetics of Chaos: Schizoanalysis and Postmodern American Fiction," I use theories from physics and psychoanalysis together to explore narrative structures in recent American fiction. Chaos theory, which emerged in mathematical and biological discourses in the 1960s, postulates the intrinsic instability and unpredictability of many natural and physical phenomena. Theorists like Bertalanffy, Mandelbrot and Lorenz produced a vocabulary to account for these pervasive systems. In assessing historical, economic and, indeed, literary systems, we may draw terms from chaotic inquiry: bifurcation, fractal, moebial, reiteration, complexity, butterfly effect, strange attractors, and sensitive dependence upon initial conditions. '"Chaotic narratives*" may explicitly deploy (Barth, Pynchon, Gibson) or inadvertently express (Coover, Ondaatje, Powers) the structural features of chaotic systems. Such writing is characterized by a diffusion of linear chronology, as well as ontological and narrative fracture, repetition and variation. Literary theorists N. Katherine Hayles, Joseph Conte, Hanjo Berressem and others have discussed how chaotic scientific and psycho-social systems are not only invoked in contemporary literature, but are themselves the structural and philosophical underpinnings of postmodern culture. My thesis builds upon chaotic-literary criticism by investigating the psychological implications of "chaotic narratives." Drawing from the anti-deterministic "schizoanalysis" of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, I explain how writings by Don DeLillo, Paul Auster, David Foster Wallace and Mark Z. Danielewski perform and reflect the "orderly disorder" of psychic development. I advance the term "psychochaotics*' to describe a theoretical approach that uses principles from chaos theory to reveal the psychodynamic systems in postmodern fiction.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: A Poetics of Chaos: Schizoanalysis and Post modern American Fiction.
Identifier: PQ ETD:591303
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest. Third party copyright material has been removed from the ethesis
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of English Lang and Literature
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1444024
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