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Title: Problems of perception and representation in the novels of Claude Simon
Author: Duffy, Jean Henderson
ISNI:       0000 0001 3434 0909
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1982
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My main argument is that Simon's association with the Nouveau Roman springs not simply from a reaction against tradition, but more importantly from a positive, personal interest in the relationship between perception and representation. Simon's theory of defamiliarization and his interest in the cultural code and its influence on perception provide a possible solution to the apparent inconsistency between his notations of sensory impression and his subversion of traditional 'realistic' definitions of representation. Indeed, Simon's development can be viewed partly in terms of a shift in interest from the defamiliarization of our perception of the world to a defamiliarization of hitherto 'invisible' literary techniques and of the relationship between language and reality. The introduction of the thesis correlates Simon's various scattered literary statements and tries to establish the coherence of his theoretical principles. Chapter one charts the shift in Simon's fiction from behavioural and moral questions to questions relating to the psychology and philosophy of perception, including the relationship between perception and the code. Chapter two illustrates Simon's rejection of the primacy of the Realist code and his exploitation, in the generation of a text, of the multiple associations of the gamut of linguistic and cultural codes into which the writer is born. The final chapter tries to effect a synthesis and considers both the perceptual and representational aspects of time and history. While the thesis situates Simon in the context of recent psychological and linguistic theory, it does not posit conclusive links with any one school. Contemporary theory simply offers a set of co-ordinates by which to gauge Simon's evolution and openness to prevalent ideas. In the end, however, my principal concern remains the specificity and intrinsic coherence of his development.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Literature