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Gore Vidal's historical novels

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Gore Vidal's historical novels

Murphy, Michael (2007) Gore Vidal's historical novels. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Published between 1967 and 2000, the seven historical novels that constitute Gore Vidal's American Chronicles series fictionalize major events in U.S. history, beginning with the Revolutionary Wars in the eighteenth century and ending, effectively, in the early 1960s. A number of critics have characterized the American Chronicles as aesthetically and thematically conventional in the age of postmodernism and the context of what Linda Hutcheon has argued is its hallmark literary manifestation, historiography metafiction. Considered alongside typical historiography metafictions such as Don DeLillo's Libra and E. L. Doctorow's Ragtime , the American Chronicles seem old-fashioned inasmuch as they take a comparatively non-problematic approach to the issue of the historian's ability to know the past; avoid pronounced formal experimentation; and advance a systematic and relatively straightforward periodization of U.S. history in support of the partisan 'platform' Vidal has outlined in his long and prolific career as a commentator on U.S. politics. However, the epistemological and stylistic traditionalism of Vidal's series must be understood within the context of his view that the historical novel should not principally serve the serious American writer as an occasion for philosophizing about historiography, but should enable him to construct a popular, artistically credible, and relatively definitive version of the nation's past whose political implications for the present will influence readers

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > English
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Murphy, Michael
Pagination:v, 92 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:English
Date:2007
Thesis Supervisor(s):Frank, Marcie
ID Code:975335
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:06
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:40
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