Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.668304
Title: This being called human : nature and human identity in W.G. Sebald and Samuel Beckett
Author: Bates, Michael
ISNI:       0000 0004 5366 4628
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2015
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Abstract:
This thesis examines the representation of human identity in regards to the relationships and interactions with non-human nature in the writing of W.G. Sebald and Samuel Beckett. Through a discussion of the processes through which humans inhabit, delineate, and preserve settlements and cultural artefacts, the analysis proceeds to interrogate the impact of these upon the depiction of the urban and rural landscapes, and the interaction of humanity with the natural world. This approach depends upon a phenomenological strand of ecocritical thought, informed by the writing of Martin Heidegger and Robert Pogue Harrison, in order to establish the underlying signification of human landscapes via land ownership and memorialisation. The thesis then approaches the impact of modern technology and modes of living, particularly in industrial cities, upon the process of human self-identification, and the impact of this upon human interactions with animals. The discussion that follows approaches the fluidity of the human state, informed by Eric L. Santner's writing on creatureliness, and Carolyn Merchant's research regarding the role of empiricism in setting the precedent for human domination of the natural world. This leads to an analysis of the pastoral trope and notions of land ownership, through which the narrators of Sebald's and Beckett's writing hope to elide the human/nature division so that they might escape the dehumanising influence of the modern city, and the ecophobic worldview preserved within it.
Supervisor: Vice, Sue ; Piette, Adam Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.668304  DOI: Not available
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