Kinds of spaces : poststructural concepts and metafictional appropriations

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Wielgosz, Anne-Kathrin
White, Patricia S.
Issue Date
Thesis (Ph. D.)
Department of English
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"Kinds of Spaces: Poststructural Concepts and Metafictional Appropriations" emerges from studies in structural linguistics, contemporary critical theory, and metafiction and thus moves into the realms of poststructuralism and deconstruction while developing a theory of space in writing. Its central sections attempt to conceptually and physically broaden the scope of the investigation and progress from linguistic space, via inscribed space and ontological inter-space, to erotic space. Thus, "Marking a Place of Differ( )nce" concerns the poststructural redefinition of the Saussurean model with its gap between signifier and signified in the debate between Lacan and Derrida on the "Purloined Letter"; "'a spatial displacement of words"' discusses the disruption of syntax and the ensuing dissemination of letters across the page in concrete prose, particularly as they relate to narratological displacement in Raymond Federman's Double or Nothing; "From Ear to Eye" reenacts the analogy created between sound and sight in Steve Katz's The Exagggerations of Peter Prince, which attempts an erosion of ontological and spatial boundaries in the text; "The Body, the Book, and the Supplement of Supplements" addresses the physical space between reader and book, the uniting of their bodies, and is based on Rousseau's concept of the supplement, Foucault's notion of the gaze, and Baudrillard's discussion of seduction.These central sections are framed by: "The Blank in Writing," which develops a theory of blank space in writing mostly drawing on Derridean concepts and applying them to a reading of the Mobv Dick chapter "The Whiteness of the Whale," and "The Topography of Writing," which, while focussing on the relationship between space and time, discusses Raymond Federman's The Voice in the Closet, a typographical tour de force which incorporates blank space. At the end, a "Postscript" attempts to assess the blank's sign quality as it emerges as integral constituent to each concept discussed.