Date of Degree

2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Comparative Literature

Advisor(s)

Ammiel Alcalay

Committee Members

Vincent Crapanzano

Wayne Koestenbaum

Subject Categories

Comparative Literature

Abstract

A Critical and Cultural Poetics of the End: Self, Space, and Volatility in Los Angeles delineates the correspondences between Los Angeles spaces--exterior, topographical, architectural, and imaginary--and aspects of the self--interiority, identity, experience, and desire--in fictional and non-fictional depictions of Los Angeles. Through close readings of key Los Angeles novels, essays, and films, this project emphasizes how the narrative "I" traverses urban space, focusing on the dissolution of boundaries between self and place. Los Angeles' sprawling, decentralized layout and rapidly-shifting landscape have a profound influence on narrative identity, generating a volatile and disquieting sense of self; this project also explores how the city's unique spatial orientation contributes to a literature and cinema of disillusionment exclusive to Los Angeles.

Comments

Digital reproduction from the UMI microform.

 
 

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