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The fantastic in contemporary anglophone literature

Author Irmtraud HUBER
Director of thesis Prof. Dr. Virginia Richter
Co-director of thesis
Summary of thesis My dissertation project focuses on the use of fantastic metadiegesis in recent Anglophone literature. It is my contention that the embedding of fantastic elements within a realistic frame narrative, marks a shift in the function of the fantastic, away from previously dominant epistemological and ontological questions towards a pragmatic and rhetorical consideration of fictionality. By staging the interplay between diegesis and metadiegesis, reality and imagination, mimetic representation and fantasy, fictionality itself, with its simultaneous drawing and overstepping of boundaries is acted out and put into focus. This self-reflexivity does not exhaust itself in a typically postmodern exposition of the text’s fictional status, however, but goes a step further leading to a consideration of the reasons for fiction’s existence, of the anthropological functions it can fulfil and of its limits. How are the boundaries between fact and fiction negotiated by the texts under consideration? What functions are attributed to fiction and how are these assessed? How are the texts to be situated within the genre of fantastic literature and with respect to postmodern and modern literature and theory? These and similar questions will guide a close rhetorical, narratological and stylistic analysis and comparison of the texts.
Administrative delay for the defence