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Title: Hidden cyberspace : narrative and identity in the work of William Gibson
Author: Haggis, Timothy Edward Matazone
ISNI:       0000 0004 2670 7821
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Winchester
Date of Award: 2009
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The work of William Gibson has had a profound influence over the way that technology is viewed in modern society, but since the mid-1980s criticism of his work has been largely based on Cyberpunk manifestos and interpretations of the genre in which his career began. His first novel Neuromancer (1984) has been critically regarded as the pinnacle of his career due, in part, to his later works not evoking the same resonance with the thematic discourses of Cyberpunk. The themes of the Cyberpunk genre have been used to interpret Gibson's subsequent output, despite the novels' movement away from Cyberpunk motifs such as implanted technology and futuristic urban landscapes. The insights into his early works revealed by the changes in his narrative style and content have remained unstudied due to the dominant influence of the Cyberpunk discourses over approaches to Gibson's texts. This thesis examines the entirety of Gibson's fiction output to assess the relevance of a Cyberpunk-based approach to his later works, focussing primarily on his novels and the processes applied by other critics to their study. It uncovers new overarching motifs in his work that are used to reinterpret Neuromancer in a way that unites it thematically with his later texts. This thesis argues that his novels consistently address three main issues: these are the use of technology as a metaphor for the unconscious mind, change being a signifier of authenticity, and his association of information with the nature of God. It is these motifs that define Gibson's construction of narrative and identity. Their study reveals that his work consistently relies on introducing aspects of the unknown into technologically controlled environments. This thesis presents an approach to Gibson's work that reassesses core assumptions previously used in the study of this influential modern author.
Supervisor: Mulvey, Chris ; Mason, Fran Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available