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Record identifier : 567894
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Wixted, John P
Title and statement of responsibility : On boredom and being saved: Postmodern malaise and emancipation in the novels of Zadie Smith [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : Villanova University, 2007
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : M.A.
Body granting the degree : , Villanova University
Summary or Abstract : The novels of Zadie Smith are rife with the conflict between reason and unaccountable desire, resulting in a struggle to find a sense of identity and direction in either Enlightenment-based rationalism or postmodernist diversity and experimentation. This overwhelming feeling of shiftless impotence reduces the denizens of Smith's London, New York, and New England to what can be described as state of chronic boredom. Though boredom is hardly a recent phenomenon, the kind of listlessness portrayed in Smith's novels is a condition peculiar to the postmodern era. Drawing upon relevant critical sources, I will posit the emergence of boredom as historically concurrent with the advent of liberal ideals such as freedom and progress, and illustrate the dilemma posed when a culture that contains unprecedented opportunity for distraction fails to provide meaning and substance. I will argue in this thesis that the tension between the emancipatory promise of progress and its concurrent side-effect of disenchantment provides a valuable heuristic for understanding the work of this highly influential contemporary author..
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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