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Title: The generic affiliations of T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land
Author: Khosravi, Robab
ISNI:       0000 0001 3598 8299
Awarding Body: Keele University
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis explores the generic affiliations ofT. S. Eliot's The Waste Land, investigating the logic of the text's fragmentary aesthetics, while also highlighting the political ends met by literary genres. Eliot's avant-garde experimentation with genres.i.n The Waste Land makes the. poem generica.1ly obscure. Yet the key to the text's generic.. rationale could be its very fragmentariness. The building blocks ofthe historical . romance can be sought in the poem's fnigmentary passages, while a tendency to 'exceed' temporal and aesthetic boundaries makes it a 'post-modem romance'. The text also parodies certain elements of romance; used in its post-modem sense, the technique of 'parody' connotes a stylistic confrontation with the past - one that establishes a dialogUe with the historical 'other' - and challenging its intimidating legacy, re-writes the present in a self-reflexive enterprise. Echoes ofromance are then 'historicized' to map the poem's 'political unconscious', as the scattered, irrepressible corpses throughout the poem's psychological landscape embody the aftermath of a destructive' war, hinting at the relationship between literary form and the socio-'political milieu. .':fragmentation as incarnated in the poem's proliferating mini-narratives thus' becomes an anticipation ofthe eclipse ofmeta-narrative inthe 'post-modem condition'. A structuralist perspective also allows establishing the poem's affinities with Menippean satire, the genre through which the logic of carnival is transmitted to literature. The notion of 'carnival' is used as. an analytic metaphor for examining the implications of . the premeditated suspension ofgeneric hierarchies in the poem: The carnivalesque also proves a useful cultural analytic for mapping domains of 'transgression' in Eliot's theory and practice. Constantly undermining the 'law ofgenre', the text also encapsulates the ultimate non-fixity of generic boundaries. The. thesis takes literary genres beyond their traditional role as taxonomic categories, and demonstrates their communicative value as a means ofpolitical representation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Keele University, 2007 Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available