‘How begin to find a shape?’: situating the mid-twentieth century fiction of Anna Kavan, Alexander Trocchi and Ann Quin

Van Hove, Hannah Jean (2017) ‘How begin to find a shape?’: situating the mid-twentieth century fiction of Anna Kavan, Alexander Trocchi and Ann Quin. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.

Abstract

This thesis is concerned with situating the works of Anna Kavan (1901-1968), Alexander Trocchi (1925-1984) and Ann Quin (1936-1973) within a discussion of British mid-twentieth century fiction. The relative neglect of these authors in academic criticism may be due to the fact that much British experimental writing has previously been ignored in surveys of this period. This thesis argues that a study of their work warrants a more nuanced understanding of the mid-twentieth century literary landscape than conventional accounts have allowed for. In that sense, it aims to contribute to research undertaken in more recent years which is concerned with revising dominant accounts of this period. The broader framework for the thesis is provided in Chapter 1 which examines past and present accounts and categorizations of mid-twentieth century British fiction. The remaining three chapters then focus on the 1940s work of Kavan, the fiction written during the 1950s by Trocchi and Quin’s novels of the 1960s. As well as contributing to research concerned with overviews of this period, this thesis furthers individual studies of each of the novelists presented here. By drawing on archival material and reading their works in conversation with their time and place, it attempts to understand the ways in which the experimental fiction of these three authors responded to the social, cultural and historical forces at work in Britain between the forties and the sixties. Whilst all three authors started out from a strategy of subjectivity, rooting their experimentation in a turn inwards, their works, as this thesis suggests, can be construed of as political in their concern with drawing attention to the osmotic effects of exteriority on interiority.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Anna Kavan, Alexander Trocchi, Ann Quin, mid-twentieth century British fiction, experimental British literature, avant-garde British fiction.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0441 Literary History
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Kolocotroni, Dr. Vassiliki and Goldman, Dr. Jane
Date of Award: 2017
Embargo Date: 23 May 2020
Depositing User: Dr Hannah Jean Van Hove
Unique ID: glathesis:2017-8199
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2017 11:47
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2017 12:28
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/8199

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