Doctor of Philosophy
Dr. Jonathan Boulter and Dr. Thomas Carmichael
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.
Papaspyrou, Andrew, "Spaces of Collapse: Psychological Deterioration, Subjectivity, and Spatiality in American Narratives" (2017). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 4372.