María Susana Ibáñez

The Construction of the Chronotope in The Crying Of Lot 49 and in City Of Glass: Towards a Redefinition of The Sub-Genre of the Metafictional Detective Novel.

Categoría: Literature
Título de la tesis: The Construction of the Chronotope in The Crying Of Lot 49 and in City Of Glass: Towards a Redefinition of The Sub-Genre of the Metafictional Detective Novel.
Keywords: detective novel – metafiction – Bakhtin – chronotope - decenterment
Datos de contacto:
María Susana Ibáñez
San Lorenzo 3291
Santa Fe
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Fecha de aprobación: 23 de marzo de 2006
Aval de la Facultad de Lenguas:
http://www.fl.unc.edu.ar/posgrado/tesis.html
Título de magíster en inglés

Abstract:

In the last decades of the 20th century, detective fiction gained great prestige due to the aesthetic possibilities it afforded to writers who wished to speak about the contemporary experience. Apart from the traditional subgenres of the British mystery and the American tough guy detective novel, as from the 1970’s a new subgenre emerged, namely the anti-detective novel, which in this work is called metafictional detective novel for it draws the readers’ attention to its fictionality. Bakhtin’s theory of the novelistic chronotope (1981) makes it possible to describe novels in relation to the worlds they attempt to represent and to define genres and subgenres in terms of the artistic rendering of time-space. We intend to supplement Bakhtin’s impressive account of the evolution of the novel with an approximation to the description of the new chronotope of the metafictional tough guy detective novel. This thesis describes the chronotopes of two of novels, The Crying of Lot 49 (Thomas Pynchon, 1966), and City of Glass, the first novel in The New York Trilogy (Paul Auster, 1987). These chronotopes are analyzed by alluding to Deleuze & Guattari’s metaphor of the rhizome. The analysis of the fictional worlds as labyrinths and of the protagonists as frustrated rather than rewarded heroes is explained as a reaccentuation of the myth of Icarus. The instability of their identities is related to a poststructuralist view of subjectivity. Finally, the pervading absence of certainties is said to testify to the presence of an ontological dominant in contemporary fiction. This time-space configuration, which here we call chronotope of decenterment, offers a way of representing the contemporary world which differs greatly from that of the foundational novels written by Hammett and Chandler, and may be said to contribute an important insight into the nature of American present-day culture and society.