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Title: A critical history of the palimpsest in modern literature and theory
Author: Dillon, Sarah Joanne
ISNI:       0000 0004 2714 7651
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis provides a critical history of the palimpsest in modem literature and theory. Chapter 1 provides a summary of the thesis and introduces the neologism 'palimpsestuous'. By way of introduction, it explains how the concept of the palimpsest determines the form of this history - genealogy - and provides the critical context of the thesis. Chapter 2 furnishes a brief history of the palaeo graphic phenomenon of palimpsests from antiquity to the present day. Chapter 3, a psychoanalytic reading of Thomas De Quincey's essay 'The Palimpsest' (1845), explains how De Quincey's essay inaugurates - that is, both introduces, and initiates the subsequent use of - the substantive concept of the palimpsest. Chapter 4 considers the relationship between the palimpsest, the poem and the material text, and traces the new tropography of the palimpsest through a reading of D. H. Lawrence's 'Twilight' (1928). Chapter 5 is a palimpsest of discussions of reading and writing in relation to the palimpsest in the context of classical and modem detective fiction, and the theoretical approaches of structuralism and poststructuralism. Chapter 6 moves from the figuration of text as palimpsest to a reinscription of intertextuality as 'palimtextuality' , exploring the palimpsest's structural relation to the concept of 'the hymen'. Chapter 7 traces the significance of H.D.'s use of the palimpsest in determining the critical approaches of both traditional feminist criticism and contemporary queer theory, providing readings of two stories from her Palimpsest (1926). In coupling the palimpsest with the concept of 'queer', this chapter discloses the end of the thesis - both its conclusion and its telos - the queerness and queering power of palimpsestuousness, that is, its continuing capacity to reinscribe otherwise traditional literary, critical, cultural and philosophical modes of thought
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available