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Title: The time of reading : artists' books and self-reflexive practices in literature
Author: McDowall, John Charles
ISNI:       0000 0001 1953 1424
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2018
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This project proposes that the reading of an artist’s book is one that may entail an experience that is distinctive to the medium, one that encompasses a shift of expectations of what a book is or does. That there is an awareness of the book held in the hands, and of its interactivity and deployment in time, and that this combination of tactile and cognitive negotiation of the mechanisms of the book’s structure, sequence and content make for a particularity of engagement. As a dialogical relationship, coming from a personal and infinitely variable experience of the book by its reader/viewer, this is one that is inherently elusive and complex to analyse. In investigating the nature of the temporality of self-reflexive dynamics as an underlying characteristic of the medium, this thesis submits that the foregrounding of the synthesis in time of the mutable and the concrete may be an apposite and constructive approach to exposition and evaluation of this heterogeneous field. The development of this research and the setting out of the enquiry has been undertaken through the production and methodology of my practice, which takes such auto-reflectivity as manifest subject. The thesis approaches the questions by means of the allusion to the occurrences and strategic use of self-conscious metafictional play in literature, not as a directly comparative study but by appraising the effect in terms of relational, and at times implicit association. Following an outline of the contexts of the critical study of artists’ books and of structuralist and post-structuralist narratology and literary theory in terms of the specular, the main portion of the writing is in the form of self-contained sections, in each of which a range of figures and mechanisms are considered, forming an overall constellation of shifting interconnection.
Supervisor: Taylor, Chris ; Ferguson, Catherine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available