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Title: Geophysical fictions traversing the works of Tim Winton and Cormac McCarthy
Author: Found, Joel
ISNI:       0000 0004 6347 4289
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis responds to Ocean Studies’ dissatisfaction with how literary geography is read metaphorically. Positioned in relation to geocritical, geopoetic and ecocritical endeavours, the present study brings this concern back to land, and builds a method of reading literary geographies that treads a patient and geophysically informed path to comprehending their metaphorical value. To achieve this, the thesis proposes reading literary geographies as forms of heterotopia: fictional and inaccessible, yet tethered to real-world geography and its geophysical dynamics. To realise the potential of this proposal, the core of the thesis is a comparative reading of Tim Winton and Cormac McCarthy, two writers praised for their attention to place. Prompted by geophysical, environmental, anthropological, historical and philosophical ways of understanding geography, the thesis traverses the rivers, paths, deserts, and cities that emerge in Winton and McCarthy’s fiction. Reading these spaces geophysically reveals connections between the two writers that have not yet been enabled by transpacific or transnational frames, appreciating the host of materialities beyond the Pacific that connect them and their thinking. Studying the presence of the fluvial cycle, lines, dust, and concrete in these locations prompts a diversity of metaphorical, symbolic, and literal ways of reading that develop ideas of national identity, gender, community, and crisis within their fiction. Comparing both writers geographically enables a communication that expands our understanding of their individual literary works, oeuvres, and networks. It also shows the potential of geophysical reading to develop understanding about the concerns of literary inheritance, influence and epochs, helping to place both writers in a broader literary context: as inheritors of a nineteenth-century tradition, as key figures in late-twentieth and twenty-first century fiction, and as writers contesting ‘modernity.’
Supervisor: Jones, Stephanie ; Bygrave, Stephen ; Hoare, Philip Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available