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Awe and wonder : the curious wunderkammer of Djuna Barnes's Nightwood

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Awe and wonder : the curious wunderkammer of Djuna Barnes's Nightwood

Bussmann, Christopher (2005) Awe and wonder : the curious wunderkammer of Djuna Barnes's Nightwood. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Djuna Barnes's novel Nightwood contains characters engaged in the maintenance of 'fantastic museum[s]' (5) that highlight their incongruous relationships to one another and to hegemonic power. These collections are similar in manner and design to the Renaissance Wunderkammer, or Wonder Cabinet. This thesis explores the circus and museum metaphors of Barnes' novel in relation to this Renaissance form of human and object display with emphasis on the personal collections of Nightwood's characters, the impact of these collections on character identity construction, and the subsequent relationship of each character to such hegemonic power structures as the church and aristocracy. An historic synopsis of the Wunderkammer and the ramifications of its human/object display will be given in order to clarify the position that Nightwood itself is a Wunderkammer in which its characters and their collections are perpetually on display.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > English
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Bussmann, Christopher
Pagination:iv, 73 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:English
Date:2005
Thesis Supervisor(s):Seppanen, Ritva
ID Code:8468
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:26
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 15:28
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