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Title: The contexts of Beckett, Joyce and Kafka in James Kelman's fiction
Author: Shanks, Paul Fraser
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2007
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The thesis focuses upon Kelman's fiction, placing emphasis on formal and thematic affinities with Franz Kafka, James Joyce and Samuel Beckett. The subjunctive tone of Beckett's post-war fiction and novellas and the emergence of a Beckettian narrative voice in Kelman's early and later fiction are identified in Chapter One of the thesis while, in Chapter Two, a wide range of Kelman's fictional output is considered in order to identify the context and influence of Kafka. Chapter Three focuses specifically on The Busconductor Hines through the lens of Joyce's Ulysses, considering the narrative point of view and the treatment of public and private space in the novel. Discussion of A Chancer centres upon the allegedly 'objective' style used to narrate this novel and the way in which the narrative is structured around a series of absences and silences. Chapter Four contains detailed discussion of A Disaffection and How late it was, how late: in both of these novels, I argue that Kafka's Trial and The Castle become significant intertexts. Further parallels with Ulysses and The Trilogy are made in this chapter and discussion draws upon Beckett's screenplay, Film. The latter work, in its dramatisation of the 'flight from extraneous perception', forms a pertinent means of understanding the psychological and political traumas experienced by the protagonists of both novels. Chapter Five is devoted to Kelman's fifth novel, the formally experimental Translated Accounts in which it is argued that the modernist dimension to Kelman's fiction, the awareness of voice and the implications of translating voice into text, and an underlying theme of 'self' and 'other' achieves one of its most distinctive and idiosyncratic expressions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available