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Title: [Beyond] posthuman violence : epic rewritings of ethics in the contemporary novel
Author: Murgia, Claudio
ISNI:       0000 0004 6423 0163
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
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My research will consist of a literary investigation into changing representations of violence in the contemporary novel in the context of the paradigm shift from humanism to posthumanism, from reality to fiction. The core of my work, developed through the reading of some research in neuroscience, will concern the examination of the brain as metaphor machine. From here, I will argue that the problem of violence in relation to fiction today is due to the struggle in the human body between transcendence and immanence. The individual has a tendency to transcend reality and in so doing lives violence as fiction even when inflicting pain to the other. I will observe how this transcendence is translated in contemporary narrative forms and I will shape a rhetoric of contemporary literary violence. My intention is to conduct comparative research across British, American, French and Italian literary fiction of the past 20 years, with a few exceptions. I will explore whether and how, in a globalizing world, it is both possible and necessary to develop a comparative literary analysis of the forms of contemporary violence. I will observe how the advent of posthumanity or of the fictional man has generated a crisis in the definition of identity and reality in a context in which fiction has taken its place. I will show how the individual re-acts to this condition through violence in order to find authenticity. References will include the works of Deleuze, Badiou, Bauman, Baudrillard, De Man, Agamben, Hayles et alii. In order to explore the different ramifications of the substitution of fiction to reality and its connection to violence, I will focus on what I consider the main three tools for the creation of simulation today: language, desire and information, through the works of Wallace, McCarthy, Miéville, Ballard, Gibson, Palahniuk et alii. Finally, the work will focus on the new emphasis given by contemporary writers to literary responsibility after the irresponsible writing (after the death of the author) of postmodernism through the analysis of the New Italian Epic postulated by Wu Ming but applied to the English Weird Fiction writer China Miéville. I will suggest that an attempt to overcome postmodernism is taking place in contemporary global fiction based on a more ‘serious’ approach (as Wallace would have said), a new ethics of literature, which endeavours to depict the reasons for contemporary violence in fiction and advocates for a balance between the transcendence of fiction and the immanence of reality.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN Literature (General)