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Future without the Past

Title: A Future without the Past: Postmodern Memory in the Novels of Denis Johnson.
Name(s): Wicks, Amanda, author
Parrish, Timothy, professor directing thesis
Epstein, Andrew, committee member
Faulk, Barry, committee member
Department of English, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2009
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Postmodern theorists and authors have long argued that history is a constructed system of knowledge, and therefore prone to error. Yet, despite memory's connection to history, postmodern authors have continued to utilize it as a stable narrative device, tying their characters to a past that continues to emotionally and even physically harm them. Characters in such novels often turn to their memories in order to understand their past, believing that it offers a truthful view of what has already occurred. Denis Johnson's novels shift away from this modernist usage of memory, and develop a truly postmodern use. Characters in his novels recognize that memory is flawed, and despite occurring organically is in part a constructed system of knowledge. Due in part to its constructed nature, memory cannot be trusted, and Johnson's fiction emphasizes a departure from relying solely on memory as a fact-based source to the past.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-1068 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of English in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2009.
Date of Defense: April 22, 2009.
Keywords: Denis Johnson, Memory
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Timothy Parrish, Professor Directing Thesis; Andrew Epstein, Committee Member; Barry Faulk, Committee Member.
Subject(s): English literature
English language
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Wicks, A. (2009). A Future without the Past: Postmodern Memory in the Novels of Denis Johnson. Retrieved from