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Title: Grief-works : knowledge and history in the early novels of William Golding.
Author: Ring, Betty Joan.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3519 507X
Awarding Body: Birkbeck (University of London)
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 1996
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This thesis focuses on the early novels and collected essays of William Golding. It addresses Golding's perception of the Second World War as a catalyst which precipitates a necessary and radical revision of pre-war consciousness and belief. In the wake of the multiple forms of violence enacted during the 1930s and 40s Golding's work can be seen to constitute a powerful medium through which the cultural and psychic crises of twentieth-century Europe are articulated. In this respect Golding can be read as a specifically post-Holocaust writer, one whose works need to be understood in relation to the extremes of twentieth-century history. Using the insights of psychoanalysis and feminism the thesis also explores Golding's sexual politics. Focusing on representations of sexual difference and male desire it argues that Golding's theology and history can be seen to be gendered. This aspect of his work in turn provides a means for exploring the relationship between individual and collective violence, and for articulating a postwar psycho-history. In addition, the question of origins, so vital to a writer so much concerned with the moment of the Fall, can be seen to be manifested through Golding's return to the female source of life. As his texts demonstrate, a failure to embrace this creative force, or indeed a retreat from this origin, can have profound repercussions for both men and women. It is this gendered theology and indeed, gendered history which enable the traditional view of Golding as a reactionary and predominantly didactic writer to be challenged
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Literature