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Author Balint, Brendan J
Title The ethics of failure: Literature and theory, 1916--2000
book jacket
Descript 204 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 68-12, Section: A, page: 5063
Adviser: Pamela L. Caughie
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Loyola University Chicago, 2007
In this project, I analyze select twentieth-century fiction to describe a literary model for the construction of ethical subjectivity. Scholars have often accepted linguistic and structural difficulties in modern and postmodern fiction as a sign of postwar disillusionment or as a consequence of the crisis of representation---that is, as some kind of failure. I see an opportunity to show that the contestations and failures of autonomous identity found in contemporary literature and, as I discuss in my fourth chapter, computer-generated art, can be reconceived as strategies for producing an ethically responsible subject. I contend that the various difficulties I examine in these texts not only highlight and dismantle now-atrophied and unproductive notions of identity, but provide a performative model of responsibility founded specifically in the literary
In concert with the theoretical work of Foucault, Derrida, Blanchot, Badiou, and others, my readings of twentieth-century fiction---texts from modernism to the end of the century, including works by Woolf, Beckett, Borges, Amis, and Calvino---show how the various types of failure that they perform in contesting identity, definitions of the literary, and the value of "successful" language, become the very means of constructing relations of responsibility no longer dependent upon the traditional humanist subject. The responsible subject, I conclude, is specifically literary
School code: 0112
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 68-12A
Subject Literature, Modern
Literature, Latin American
Literature, Romance
Literature, English
Alt Author Loyola University Chicago
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