Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Down in the Cold War dream : reading post-war American experience in the writing of Thomas Pynchon
Author: Turton, David J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 372X
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2011
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This thesis examines and theorizes the unique ways in which the fiction of Thomas Pvnchon facilitates our retrospective comprehension of some of the historically- contingent and historically-significant human experiences associated with the Cold War era. Through a renewed focus on the emotional and psychological investments shaping Cold War American culture, and on the dynamic and affect-led reading practices informing contemporaneous and twenty-first century responses to Pynchon's prose, the study aims to historicize both literary-artistic and interpretative practices within the socio-historical context of the Cold War. The thesis also advances a historicizing critique of certain specific aspects of Cold War American culture - including paranoia, nuclear anxiety, televisual mediation and religious conviction - that are brought into focus by Pynchon's writings. Drawing on the work of theorists such as Mikhail Bakhtin, Eve Sedgwick, and Jacques Derrida, the thesis also delineates some of the specific ways in which twenty- first century readers of Pynchon's fiction can engage with, yet move beyond, the paranoid and cynical tendencies represented within, and deconstructed by, his fictional narratives. In view of the presently unacknowledged value of the particular forms of 'creative understanding' that Pynchon's fiction facilitates, the thesis exhibits and endorses an open, reparative approach to Pynchon's texts, incorporating elements of biographical, New Historicist and deconstructive approaches. Whilst maintaining a critical focus on the literary texts themselves, the thesis also traces key aspects of Cold War experience within, between and beyond the texts, and can therefore be situated within the emerging field of Cold War historiography.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available