Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.669546
Title: John McGahern and the American connection : intertextuality and masculinity
Author: Bargroff, Adam
ISNI:       0000 0004 4323 0914
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2014
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Abstract:
The thesis offers a comparative analysis of the fiction of John McGahern (1934-2006) and explores transatlantic and gendered aspects of his work. It argues for the development of a varied cultural and communicative network between Ireland and America throughout McGahern's career as a writer, primarily investigating patterns of encounter with texts by American writers in his fiction. Case studies provide definitive and speculative arguments for his experimental incorporation of American intertexts, reimagining Ireland th~ough the lens of another culture. On a secondary level, his construction of masculinity is clarified by the comparisons between Irish and American texts. His fiction represents a struggle between male generations in mid-twentieth-century Ireland, following the experiences of the younger generation into the latter half of the century. The semiotics of masculinity and its expression in his prose operates through intertextual engagements, literary manners, and stylistic clarity. The first chapter investigates how and why in 'Korea' from Nightlines (1970), his first collection of short stories, McGahern principally constructs the intergenerational dynamic between father and son around 'Indian Camp' from In Our Time (1924), Ernest Hemingway's first collection of short stories. The second chapter examines thematic possibilities surrounding male aggression and passivity that arise from placing other texts by Hemingway in admittedly speculative but productive tension with 'The Key' and 'Peaches', two stories from Nightlines. The third chapter explores McGahern's fascination with Herman Melville's short story 'Bartleby, the Scrivener' (1853), which informs the representation of male autonomy in 'Christmas' from Nightlines as well as metatextual concerns in 'Doorways' from Getting Through (1978). The fourth chapter argues for intertextual correspondences between McGahern's That They May Face the Rising Sun (2002), Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises (1926), and Henry David Thoreau's Walden (1854), in their shared concern with the male subject's experience of loss and his immersion in the local. The conclusion turns to Memoir (2005), indicating further applications of a gendered thematic to McGahern's intertextual practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.669546  DOI: Not available
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