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Title: Faith and fictionality in the novels of muriel spark.
Author: Whittaker, R.
ISNI:       0000 0001 2132 0335
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 1979
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This thesis studies in detail the novels of Muriel Spark, with particular emphasis on the changing relationship between the elements of faith and fictionality'in her work. Mrs. Spark's canon is discussed initially within the contexts both of English Catholic fiction and of post-modernism, and her response to the tensions caused by these diverse influences and allegiances is examined. She is presented as an ambivalent writer in that her allegiance to the Roman Catholic faith as the dominant motivation of her work is sometimes paralleled and challenged by her interest in the theory of fiction, which she reveals through a concern in her work with its own structural nature, and in her creation of characters who assume a variety of authorial roles. It is argued that although a consistent feature of her work is the revelation of a moral order, her standpoint changes in the course of her novels, which are analysed chronologically in order to show their development. Initially Mrs. Spark establishes the potential both for reflexiveness and religiosity in her fiction, but the former diminishes as she displays a God-given rather than a novelistic pattern underlying contingent events. In her middle novellas she takes up the reflexive theme of her first novel by acknowledging the power of aesthetic ordering, and in her most recent novels she moves towards the utilisation of the order inherent in ritual and myth. The unifying factor of Mrs. Spark's work is her view of the world sub specie aeternitatis, and throughout this thesis it is maintained that this viewpoint is ultimately undeviating.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available