"Almost unnamable" : suicide in the modernist novel

dc.contributor.advisorFriedman, Alan Warrenen
dc.creatorChung, Christopher Damien, 1979-en
dc.description.abstractSince Presocratic Greece, suicide in the West has been “known” and controlled, both politically and discursively. Groups as diverse as theologians and literary critics have propagated many different views of self-killing, but, determining its cause and moralizing about it, they have commonly exerted interpretive power over suicide, making it nameable, explicable, and predominantly reprehensible. The four modernist authors that I consider in this dissertation -- Ernest Hemingway, Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, and William Faulkner -- break completely with the tradition of knowing suicide by insisting on its inscrutability, refusing to judge it, and ultimately rendering it “almost unnamable,” identifiable but indefinable. In For Whom the Bell Tolls, Victory, Mrs. Dalloway, and The Sound and the Fury, respectively, these authors portray illustrative, but by no means definitive, modernist self-killings; they construct a distinctive representational space around suicide, one free of causal, moral, theoretical or thematic meaning and, I argue, imbued with the power to disrupt interpretation. “‘Almost Unnamable’: Suicide in the Modernist Novel” examines the power of self-killing’s representational space in early twentieth-century fiction, arguing for its importance not only to the history of suicide in the West but also to the portrayal of death in the twentieth-century novel.en
dc.rightsCopyright is held by the author. Presentation of this material on the Libraries' web site by University Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin was made possible under a limited license grant from the author who has retained all copyrights in the works.en
dc.subject.lcshSuicide in literatureen
dc.subject.lcshHemingway, Ernest,--1899-1961.--For whom the bell tollsen
dc.subject.lcshConrad, Joseph,--1857-1924.--Victoryen
dc.subject.lcshWoolf, Virginia,--1882-1941.--Mrs. Dallowayen
dc.subject.lcshFaulkner, William,--1897-1962.--Sound and the furyen
dc.title"Almost unnamable" : suicide in the modernist novelen