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Title: Richard Yates : re-writing postwar American culture
Author: McGinley, Rory Mackay
ISNI:       0000 0004 5993 2515
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis explores the fiction of American author Richard Yates to propose that his work provides an insistent questioning and alternative vision of postwar American culture. Such an approach is informed by a revisionist account of four distinct yet interconnected areas of postwar culture: the role of the non-heroic soldier stepping in and out of World War II; suburbanisation and fashioning of anti-suburban performance; demarcation of gender roles and unraveling of sexual conservatism in the 1950s; consideration of what constituted the normative within postwar discourse and representations of mental illness in Yates’ work. These four spheres of interest form the backbone to this study in its combined aim of reclaiming Yates’ fiction in line with a more progressive historical framework while shaping a new critical appreciation of his fiction. Such analysis will be primed by an opening discussion that illustrates how Yates’ fiction has frequently been ensconced in a limited interpretative lens: an approach, that I argue, has kept Yates on the periphery of the canon and ultimately resulted in the neglect of an author who provided a rich, progressive and historically significant dialogue of postwar American life. This PhD arrives at a point when Yatesian scholarship is finally gaining momentum after the cumulative impact of a comprehensive biography, a faithful film adaptation of his seminal text Revolutionary Road (1961), plus the recent re-issue of his catalogue of work. An assessment as to why he remained on the margins of success for the duration of his career is therefore of pressing interest in light of this recent critical and commercial recognition.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: E11 America (General) ; E151 United States (General) ; PE English ; PN Literature (General) ; PS American literature