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Title: 'Towards another language': the journey of the lost child in the works of Janet Frame and David Malouf
Author: Froud, Mark
Awarding Body: University of the West of England, Bristol
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
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Abstract:
The purpose of this thesis is to analyse the symbolism and meaning of the figure of the 'lost child' within the works of the two authors. My argument extends from the work of these authors to discuss the importance of the 'lost child' within Anglocentric culture and society. I will also discuss the authors' presentation of language as both restrictive and potentially transformative. My Introduction sets out the theoretical and historical associations of childhood with language and with memory. The modem conception of memory developed alongside modem concepts of childhood as a distinct state, separate from adulthood. The idea of a ' lost child' within the self implies a gap between past and present which is perhaps fundamental to fragmentations within individuals and society. The argument of this thesis begins from a broadly " physical" or material perspective, looking at the social and individual fragmentations surrounding the figure of the child, as represented specifically in short stories by Malouf and Frame. The stories discussed are most notable for their presentations of family trauma and social violence. I then discuss, through reference to the authors' life-writing, how writing is a "doubling" of the physical self and world. Following the theory of Derrida that '[d]eath strolls between letters' I argue that the figure of the lost child is an absent presence moving through the gap between signifier and signified. I develop the concept of death, along with silence, as essential to positive transformation of being and language respectively. acknowledging a beyond outside of signification. My thesis then proceeds from the analysis of how language restricts and categorises behaviour, to the ways Malouf and Frame advocate the power of the imagination and creativity to make the "gaps" - in life, in society, in the self - sites oftransfonnation .
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.601196  DOI: Not available
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