20th Century Texts-19th Century Narratives: Literary Convention in Paul Muldoon's Madoc: A Mystery and Ishmael Reed's Flight to Canada.

Show full item record

Title: 20th Century Texts-19th Century Narratives: Literary Convention in Paul Muldoon's Madoc: A Mystery and Ishmael Reed's Flight to Canada.
Author: Mullins, Matthew
Advisors: Mary Helen Thuente, Committee Member
Tom Lisk, Committee Chair
Michael Grimwood, Committee Member
Abstract: This thesis explores how Paul Muldoon and Ishmael Reed use literary and historical conventions to comment on the value of literary conventions in the context of contemporary literature and culture. Muldoon uses poetic conventions in Madoc: A Mystery, while Reed uses slave narrative conventions in Flight to Canada. The value of reexamining these conventions in a contemporary context is to see their persisting importance and influence in literature and culture, and also to see where, perhaps, they may have fallen short as is the case with some of the slave narrative conventions appropriated by Reed. No previous research has placed Madoc and Flight to Canada side by side. By placing these two texts side by side, we can get a better idea of the irreducible complexity of language. Both Muldoon and Reed use language that can only be reduced to a lowest common denominator that is, in itself, complex. Both authors also offer a revisionist history that questions capital "T" truth, and the concepts of time and history in general. And, in both texts, America is critiqued for falling short of its once-ripe New World aspirations. By appropriating literary conventions, Muldoon and Reed pull two hundred years into the span of a few hundred pages, and use convention to challenge convention while learning from convention in the process.
Date: 2007-04-06
Degree: MA
Discipline: English
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/1381


Files in this item

Files Size Format View
etd.pdf 189.2Kb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record