Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Transport, technology and ideology in the work of Will Self
Author: Gleghorn, James Martin
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 3000
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This study explores depictions of various modes of transport in the fiction and non-fiction of the author and journalist Will Self (1961- ). These modes of transport range from the mechanical (cars, planes) to the physical (walking), but the argument at the centre of this thesis is that they all form valuable metaphors when it comes to analysing the inherent link between the significant technological developments of the last century, and the mental health of both individuals and collective societies that use and come to rely on said technologies. This study argues that Self’s depictions of transport form a criticism of the implicit commercial and ideological systems that exist within these technologies, and that both transport and other developments such as social media and the internet play an insidious and active role in the ways that users experience place and time. In addition to this, the study examines the impacts that these technologies have – in Self's view – on the broader contemporary literary and cultural landscape (drawing on the influences upon and contemporaries of Self, such as J. G. Ballard, W. G Sebald and Martin Amis), and even the individual capacity for imagination. It will also argue that transcending these entrapping ideological systems is extremely complex, and that Self’s fiction is a literary counterpart to this form of complexity, through both his manipulation of language and his highly imaginative but also often disturbing subject matter. To this end, the main body of the thesis draws on close literary analysis of some of Self’s major novels and short fiction – works that more explicitly focus on transport – to demonstrate how these ideological, technological and literary complexities become an important source of literary innovation in light of what Self believes is a simplistic contemporary culture.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available