Flows, Routes and Networks: The Global Dynamics of Lawrence Norfolk, Hari Kunzru and David Mitchell

Green, James B (2007) Flows, Routes and Networks: The Global Dynamics of Lawrence Norfolk, Hari Kunzru and David Mitchell. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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Abstract

The notion that we have entered a global age of human relations has been the driving force behind many of the most persuasive cultural inquiries published over the last few decades, including fictional ones, into the conditions of contemporary existence, perhaps the most prominent of these being Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri's Empire (2000). In the era of mass migrations, proliferating media technologies and the deterritorialised movements of labour and capital, it has become increasingly necessary to speak of identity and citizenship in terms of 'flows', 'routes' and 'networks' that cut across the traditional boundaries of the nation-state. Though it is through various cultural productions that such transformations are at once performed, symbolised and comprehended, discussions about how these changes have impacted on modes of literary representation have largely been framed by the older discourses of postmodernism and postcolonialism, which anticipate present circumstances while arguably offering rather limited perspectives on them. This text-focused thesis explores in detail the narrative strategies and thematic concerns of three British writers who have risen to prominence since 1990 - Lawrence Norfolk, Hari Kunzru and David Mitchell - whose work announces literary developments that may be attributed to the fluidity and multiplicity of millennial relations and the phenomenon of globalisation. Informed by broader debates about multinational capitalism, transnational culture, and the emergence of new cybernetic infrastructures, this research argues that recent novels such as Lempri6re's Dictionary (Lawrence Norfolk), Transmission (Hari Kunzru) and Ghostwritten (David Mitchell) demonstrate an aesthetic consciousness of new patterns of human Interaction and geo-historical interconnectedness that is substantially different from the conceptual coordinates mapped in the fictions of a previous generation. The work of these three important authors has yet to enter fully into the mainstream of critical discussion, and the present study represents the first sustained critical contextualisation of their fiction. Following an introductory chapter that, firstly, provides a wide-ranging analysis of globalisation understood as a constellation of multidimensional processes and, secondly, considers how these material transformations articulated themselves in the cultural context of Britain in the 1980s and '90's, this thesis engages in close readings of the selected authors' complex fictions over three extensive chapters.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Culture and globalization
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Liberal and Performance Arts > Literary and Critical Studies
Depositing User: Phil Davis
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2016 16:34
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2017 09:37
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/3167

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