The reader and the page : textual gaps, textual arrangements and images in prose fiction

Barton, S 2012, The reader and the page : textual gaps, textual arrangements and images in prose fiction , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

This thesis is a reader-focused analysis of unconventional graphic devices that appear on the pages of graphically innovative prose fictions. The main aim is to provide a study of the implications that unconventional and graphically disruptive pages have on the reading process and how the reader can overcome this challenge and ultimately gain meaning from these other modes of signification. The study prioritises the act of 'looking' that is a fundamental part of 'reading' of the page. This focus on the arrangement of text on the page has been largely neglected by previous literary critics. The materiality of the book as an object is also fundamental to the understanding of some of the idiosyncratic devices in the novels featured as examples here. The three main chapters of this thesis explore the implications that textual gaps, textual arrangements and visual images have on the reading process. Each chapter is devoted to exploring the different effects of each of these three types of device on the reader, and constructs a new critical vocabulary for the analysis of these previously marginalised works of prose. Two separate case studies that follow them apply the product of the previous three chapters to two exceptionally visual (and critically marginalised) novels, Raymond Federman's Double or Nothing: A Real Fictitious Discourse (1992) and William H. Gass' Willie Masters' Lonesome Wife (1968), respectively. These case studies demonstrate the suitability of applying new terms to the reading of unconventionally presented narratives and show how this focus on the page can assist the critical interpretation of'difficult' novels that have previously been marginalised by literary critics.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: White, G (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2021 14:23
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:56
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/61501

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