The dissertation consists of an extended critical essay entitled “‘Character’-izing Hysterical Realism: Postmodernism, 9/11, and the Realistic Aesthetic” and original fiction in the form of a novella, The Believing Game. The critical essay contextualizes the development of the subgenre of hysterical realism in the literary fiction of the 1990s and examines its regression in the years following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. I suggest that hysterical realism can be partly understood as a hybrid of realism and postmodernism and a “bridge” from postmodernism to a new, still-emerging post-postmodern fiction. The Believing Game, set in a Midwestern college town, examines the challenges, fears, and desires of a young woman on the verge of falling into disillusionment. In her struggle to maintain self-confidence in the face of various personal crises, the main character may represent the general plight of twenty-something millennials. The novella deals prominently with themes such as faith, desire, love, and the tension between personal independence and social expectation.
|Advisor:||Wilson, Mary Ann|
|Commitee:||Andriano, Joseph, Fox, Willard|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Creative writing, American literature|
|Keywords:||9/11, Contemporary fiction, Hysterical realism, Novels, Post-postmodernism, Postmodernism|
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