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Title: Representation of madness in contemporary Black literature
Author: Yearwood, Susan J.
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis uses Bakhtinian theory, in particular the chronotope, as well as insights into my personal writing and other texts to look at the representation of madness in contemporary black literature. The representation of madness is reflected in three texts by writers of African descent: Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat; Orange Laughter by Leone Ross and Paradise by Toni Morrison. I look at how madness as an instance of rupture and trauma relates to language used within the texts. I draw on Bakhtin's theories on language as a basis on which claims to madness in language, or text, are made. Bakhtin's theories are useful as he attempted to define social aspects of language in a way that illuminated the psycho-social in texts. In an attempt to further define aspects of the chronotope - which relates to the correlation between space and time within aspects of literature - it became useful to add the definition of the "mad" chronotope to aspects of language so that the literature in question could be seen through a new definition that was pertinent to the subject. The writers, Danticat, Ross and Morrison, all approach madness from differing viewpoints that help to emphasise the relationship between madness and the chronotope. This relationship is explored throughout the following chapters and helps to define the new concept of the "mad chronotope" as an aspect of language useful to the interpretation of texts. I analyse my personal writing by looking at madness and other relevant themes in relation to the novel and by relating ideas on Bakhtinian theory, notably the mad chronotope, to the creative process. In the second part of the novel, the protagonist suffers with schizophrenia within an extended period of time. At this point, the novel attempts to mirror the concerns of the thesis in relation to the mad chronotope and other themes relevant to the thesis so that there is a correlation between the two pieces of work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available