Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type




First Advisor

Lyn Di Iorio

Second Advisor

Carla Cappetti


Künstlerroman, Melville, Joyce, Rank, Beebe, Marcuse


This study focuses on the primary protagonists of Herman Melville’s Pierre; or, the Ambiguities (1852) and James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), Pierre Glendinning and Stephen Dedalus, as well as Isabel Banford, a supporting character in Melville’s novel, to illustrate how the tensions of contemporary society have a direct influence on the artist-hero’s representations and perspectives on self-realization. This thesis will draw on the major concepts of the artist and artist fiction as put forth in Otto Rank’s Art and Artist (1916), Herbert Marcuse’s “Der Deutsche Künstlerroman” (“The German Artist Novel”, 1922), and Maurice Beebe’s Ivory Towers and Sacred Founts (1964). The the specificities of the artistic nature development are analyzed according to each character and the importance of environment and experience for the artistic realization and the essential relations between artistic creation and the growth of personality are addressed.



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