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Genre and code in the work of John Banville

Boyle, Kevin (2016) Genre and code in the work of John Banville. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.

This thesis examines the role of genre in a selection o f works by the author John Banvillc. It aims to provide insight into the output of a writer who alternates between claiming his various works as being cither literary or non-lilerary. Banville’s texts invariably appear paradoxical when the functions and effects of individual generic devices in his writing arc considered in light of the larger concerns of aesthetics, politics, and ethics which permeate through all of his work. The choice of texts discussed provide a variety of generic codes for consideration. Banville’s crime fiction written under the name of Benjamin Black are considered as part of a mctatlctional project akin to that of his main corpus rather than separate, non-literary entities. The Black novels initially appear to be faithful to the established genre of the hard-boiled detective novel, yet they also reveal an engagement with the intellectual and aesthetic concerns o f the author’s main body of work which incorporates many genres. The conventions and codes of metalictional writings are thus examined sidc-by-sidc with those of the crime novel genre. Banville’s other works draw upon a range of generic codes such as the historical novel, confessional literature, and travel writing and these are also investigated. Thus, different genres and stages of the author’s corpus are represented. The theoretical basis for this examination draws upon a range of theorists of genre from the pioneering work of Bakhtin and Todorov to more recent developments by Derrida and Lyotard. Such a range provides the tools for this study to investigate the work of an author known for both earnestness and play. The two aims of this thesis are: to show how the complexity of his work’s philosophical basis is subverted by aesthetic concerns such as form and style, and to investigate why genre and genre theory has an unstable locale in Banville’s textual explorations.
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Date of Award:November 2016
Supervisor(s):Hand, Derek
Subjects:Humanities > Literature
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Science > School of English
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:22477
Deposited On:25 Jul 2018 12:25 by Thomas Murtagh . Last Modified 25 Jul 2018 12:25

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