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Title: The utopian impulse in American modernity and postmodernity : Cuban and Californian perspectives
Author: Carr, P.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1998
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Using for illustration texts by Jack Kerouac, Richard Brautigan, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Thomas Pynchon, and Severo Sarduy, published between 1953 and 1974, this thesis investigates the role of Utopia - as the ideal 'best state' of subjective or national identity - in American modernity and postmodernity. Beginning with readings of Thomas More's Utopia, this thesis notes how the dualism intrinsic to the modern Cartesian consciousness contributes to a sociopolitical polarization in the Americas: a dialectic which is exacerbated by the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, continues into the Age of Independence, and crystallizes in the era of the Cuban Revolution. The work of theorists such as Sartre, Barthes, Derrida and Foucault is addressed in tracing the evolution of utopianism in the fiction studied. In considering modernity an ideology the exploits 'utopia' as a transcendent signified in order to legitimise a master-discourse, the texts are analysed as to whether they subvert or subscribe to this discursive and philosophical edifice, that is, to what extent these fictions can be described as postmodern inasmuch as they are post-utopian.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available