"This Bright Inward Cinema of Thought"

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Sara Strauß

"This Bright Inward Cinema of Thought". Stream of Consciousness in Contemporary English Fiction

ISBN 978-3-86821-462-8, 226 S., kt., € 26,50 (2013)

(Horizonte - Studien zu Texten und Ideen der europäischen Moderne, Bd. 44)

Around the turn of the twenty-first century a re-emerging interest in the human consciousness is evident in science, the arts, and in society in general. Writers of narrative fiction increasingly engage with the topic of human inner life, thoughts and feelings. Today the narrative genre of stream of consciousness fiction is enjoying new popularity, for example in the novels of Eva Figes, Ian McEwan and Graham Swift. Contemporary stream of consciousness fiction, on the one hand, addresses crucial questions of the philosophy of mind, such as the mind-body problem. On the other hand, it also intertextually engages with its own literary tradition and its aesthetic origins in modernism. Despite placing their narrative fiction in this literary tradition, contemporary authors transcend the modernist and postmodernist era. Their fiction achieves a new ethical function; it addresses moral issues – for example those arising from current biomedical research into the human brain and into its genetic prerequisites. Thereby stream of consciousness fiction succeeds in addressing some of the most important controversies and ethical questions of the early twenty-first century. The thesis at hand examines contemporary stream of consciousness fiction with regard to its engagement with the mind-body problem, its heritage from modernist stream of consciousness literature as well as its recent ethical turn. After overviews on the theoretical classifications of intertextuality and intermediality, the development of modern narratology as well as the question of consciousness and narrative modes of presenting consciousness, the thesis provides in-depth analyses of selected contemporary novels. By means of narratological analyses of works by Eva Figes, Ian McEwan and Graham Swift the study exemplifies trends in stream of consciousness fiction from the 1980s to the 2000s.

Buchvorschau / Inhaltsverzeichnis (pdf)