From Ritual to Romance and Beyond
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My thesis, The Sense of an Ending and Other Postmodern Tragedies, is a collection of literary short stories based on classic tragedies. Together the stories are an intertextual web which explore literary postmodernism and the role of fiction in postmodernity. It is accompanied by the exegesis, From Ritual to Romance and Beyond, which frames the creative work and draws attention to the texts which have inspired each short story. These collected short stories draw inspiration from poems, novels and plays including: The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, William Shakespeare’s versions of Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet, Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, The Satyricon by Petronius and On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan. Jeffrey Hart’s book Smiling Through the Cultural Catastrophe and Frank Kermode’s lectures which he gave at Bryn Mawr College in 1965 and are collected in the book The Sense of an Ending also contribute creatively and critically to both the stories and the exegesis. Specific attention is paid to the themes of originality in postmodernity, tragedy in postmodernity and literary postmodernism.