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Title: Writing in real-time, fictions of digitization : the novels of Don DeLillo and Dave Eggers
Author: Muscolino, Stephen J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6353 320X
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2017
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By tracking the intersection of contemporary fiction and the information technologies of the digital age, this thesis argues that the narratives being produced over the past ten years have evolved into a distinct genre of literature, one where the aesthetics of fragmentation and postmodern uncertainty must confront the new realities of a digitally saturated culture and society. In order to demonstrate this alteration in contemporary fiction, this thesis considers novels written within the past ten years that reflect on this new form of textuality, namely Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis (2003) and David Eggers’ The Circle (2013). These texts demonstrate a paradigm shift in contemporary literature, a new kind of fiction in which American society, culture, economics, and politics, are all directly affected by various forms of digital mediatisation. These authors reflect an altered cultural zeitgeist within their fiction—writings which can be differentiated from the postmodern literary aesthetic—prompted by neoteric digital technologies coupled with the ubiquitous nature of the Internet. Although this topic is broad and covers multiple fields of scholarly interests, my thesis nonetheless concerns itself with a very specific line of questioning: will our authors have the imaginative wherewithal and social sensitivity to keep pace with changes brought forth by the explosion of information technologies? If so, what type of fiction is likely to emerge from this new digital environment? By taking a focused approach and using contemporary literature as representative of these massive social, economic, and political transformations, my research recalls Kurt Vonnegut’s “Canary in the Coal Mine” dictum: the writer has always been the first to notice the dramatic effects of technology on the individual and the culture at large.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: B Philosophy (General) ; BH Aesthetics ; F001 United States local history ; PN Literature (General) ; PN0080 Criticism ; PN0441 Literary History ; PS American literature