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Title: Janus : the monstrosity of genre
Author: Washington, Gianni
ISNI:       0000 0004 7960 9053
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2019
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Horror fiction, much like other "popular" genres, has many a stigma attached to its creation and enjoyment. Both experiences are considered by a number of literary critics to be less complex than that of literary fiction and, as a result, less rewarding for readers. These critics cite the repeated use of particular tropes in several works across a single genre, crediting works that introduce elements strongly associated with other genres with "transcending" their popular origins. This thesis, which is composed of both a practical and critical component, argues that such tropes do not preclude a work of genre fiction reaching the same levels of depth and originality as literary fiction, and that in fact it is the subversion of familiar tropes and their synthesis with tropes of other genres which can create opportunities for readers to alter their expectations of what each genre can achieve. The practical portion of this thesis, the novel Janus, is intended as an example of the synthesis of horror and literary fiction, including elements of sci-fi and weird fiction as well. My goals for this novel include the exploration of such themes as monstrosity, evil, love, fear, and identity through the use of a split-perspective narrative set in both the past and present. The portion of this thesis that is critical commentary will examine aspects of genre theory with respect to the horror and literary genres using Stephen King's The Shining and Toni Morrison's Beloved as representative of work that adheres to certain generic tropes while subverting others, with which tropes are kept to, which are reshaped, as well as the genre each novel is ultimately confined to, being predominantly dependent upon each novel's respective goals concerning the reader.
Supervisor: Vlitos, Paul Sponsor: U.S. Department of Education
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral