Whispering continuities: mythopoetic writing and textual mobility in the work of Alan Warner

Brownlee, Amy (2015) Whispering continuities: mythopoetic writing and textual mobility in the work of Alan Warner. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Alan Warner is at the forefront of contemporary Scottish literature, and a writer whose literary presence is too often lost on critics. Many misconceptions surround the author in terms of his style and literary substance, with critiques often noting the explicitly disparate nature of his fiction which, in a seemingly haphazard fashion, fluctuates between realist writing and fantasy-driven prose. Viewing the corpus as an unruly tapestry which lacks continuity detracts meaning from Warner’s work, reducing substance from the novels which can only be accurately traced when understood in their complete context. This thesis shall aim to uncover the subtle nuances which bind Warner’s corpus, exposing the novels as an organic whole as opposed to isolated, detached entities. By perceiving Warner’s work as a unified body readers can detect the author’s reworked images and recurrent symbols which weave through each text, adding weight and profundity to Warner’s vision of the modern nation. In order to uncover the subtle threads which bind Warner’s corpus, two main themes shall be analysed: Warner’s mythopoetic style and textual mobility. Mythopoetics and the recurring motif of the journey are used by Warner to weave through his oeuvre, implicitly uniting each of the novels. Moving through the texts in chronological order, the concept of mythopoetics and the significance of the trope of the journey shall be utilised to gently close the gap between Warner’s perceived realistic and fantasy forms of writing, until eventually the binary between each genre is dissolved. This research seeks to prove that there is continuity within Warner’s corpus, with a consistent style and recurrent symbols woven through each of his novels. It shall unearth ideas regarding Warner’s fiction which set him apart in the literary world, significantly elevating the poignancy of his writing. His mythopoetic style and recurring motif of the journey shall be examined and defined in detail against selected novels, as well as comparing Warner’s work to various other authors and their literary sensibilities. Such a diverse range of literary parallels highlights Warner’s status as an author who is conscious and appreciative of what it means to write, and of the aesthetic pleasure, spiritual power and potential literature has to offer in the twenty-first century.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Scottish literature, contemporary, Alan Warner, mythopoetics, textual mobility, journey
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Scottish Literature
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Van Heijnsbergen, Mr Theo
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Miss Amy Brownlee
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6281
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 20 May 2015 15:54
Last Modified: 25 May 2015 10:00
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/6281

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