Date of Award

2003

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

English Language, Literature, and Creative Writing

First Advisor

Brandt, D.

Keywords

Literature, Canadian (English).

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

The idea that context shapes text is traceable to Aristotle who identified poetry or "making" with the form or plot that best appeals to audience expectations. Today's complex world, with its host of competing truths, requires texts that reflect this confusion. My novel reacts to this context, appealing to expectations in both form and story. What are those expectations? The current appetite for shorter texts and the popularity of the short novel might be explained by a growing alliterate population, an educated group who value books, but who have little time to read them. Yet reading hasn't declined altogether. Current event periodicals like Harper's and The Atlantic have seen a dramatic increase in circulation since 9/11. These magazines are the home of the short essay, with alliterate expectations clearly in mind. With Photoblur I've responded with fictional fragments that acknowledge the reduced attention span of today's readers. But I don't confuse alliterate with illiterate. The novel's disordered form mirrors world events, particularly 9/11, fragmenting further in the pages following the destruction. The philosophical digressions are representative of the inter-mingling of short essay and fiction, linking the story with questions underlying the story. It is text shaped by context. Loaded with contradiction, it satirizes the postmodern world (and its players, preoccupations, performances, etc.) using postmodern devices. It pines for the past, but refuses to conform to its conventions. It weaves thematic threads, but some get tied in knots, and others disappear clear off the page. The title, Photoblur, speaks to my fascination with blurs; those incomplete, unfinished stories. The unresolved moment. An image in flux, as Michael Ondaatje observed, "shapeless, awkward, moving to the clear." Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 42-01, page: 0059. Adviser: Di Brandt. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2003.

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