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A New Self, History, and Truth: the postmodern quest in Julian Barnes’s ''Flaubert's Parrot'', ''A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters'', and ''Arthur & George''.

Starting from an analysis of Postmodernism, a cultural phenomenon, and of Postmodernity, an historical period, I mean to contextualize my analysis of the novels by Julian Barnes: "Flaubert's Parrot", "A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters", and "Arthur and George". From a mainly philosophical point of view, Postmodernism seems to have had crucial effects on the conception and on the very possibility of knowing the self, the past, and truth itself. The theory explained in Part I is put into practice in the novels studied in Part II. "Flaubert's Parrot", indeed, can be considered as the parody of a traditional biography, since the epistemological doubts and uncertainties which are typical of postmodernism are realized in Barnes's re-writing of Flaubert's biography. "A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters", instead, is a parodic re-writing of historiography, namely the transformation of the past into a mere narrative. In "Arthur & George", Julian Barnes reworks a real life case in which Arthur Conan Doyle plays the role of Sherlock Holmes, chasing a truth which proves elusive.
The conclusion of my dissertation is that, although Postmodernism contains a tendency towards Nihilism, this new cultural movement may be, nonetheless, considered positive. By recognizing the impossibiliy of a total, univocal, and universal truth, what is left is a plurality of truths and interpretations of the world, which are local, provisional and partial. Doubts and uncertainties lead to recognize the existence of a plurality of explanations of the world, and this recognition is the fundamental prerogative for tolerance.

Mostra/Nascondi contenuto.

Laurea liv.II (specialistica)

Facoltà: Lingue e Letterature Straniere Moderne

Autore: Giulia Pavan Contatta »

Composta da 177 pagine.


Questa tesi ha raggiunto 47 click dal 01/04/2014.

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