Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Program

English

Supervisor

Dr. Jonathan Boulter and Dr. Thomas Carmichael

Abstract

This thesis studies the relationship between spatiality and subjectivity within the context of modern and contemporary American narrative. Combining a psychoanalytic approach with phenomenological considerations, I set out to analyze the ways in which spatial structures mediate madness, paranoia, the compulsion to repeat, and uncanny anxiety. Space serves a primary focus of my analysis, and I outline the different ways that language and consciousness construct space. Considering the work of William Faulkner, Francis Ford Coppola, Paul Auster, and Mark Z. Danielewski, I argue that particular spaces, such as houses and cities, represent or contribute to particular forms of psychological psychosis and neurosis. While I use phenomenology as an important guide to understand the relationship between subjectivity and space, my primary concern is tracing out the psychoanalytic subject’s dependence on spatial orientation. Ultimately, I conclude that spatiality offers a key to understanding the basic instability that lies at the heart of the psychoanalytic subject.


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