Archival texts and bodies in Thomas Hardy’s and E.M. Forster’s short stories

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2014
Korkut, Esin
This thesis has been written with a view to making analyses of Thomas Hardy's and E.M. Forster's short stories in terms of the discourse the stories produce on textuality and archive. The thesis has been based on Derrida's approaches to textuality and archive, in which Derrida regards both as unfinished constructs. In the deconstruction of these discourses, Derrida deals with the metaphysical assumptions associated with these terms. This thesis, as well as making use of some terminology introduced by Derrida, is also based on what Derrida has revealed to be an important part of metaphysical assumptions such as the artificiality and supplementarity attributed to writing when compared to speech. However, Derrida also reveals that this metaphysical discourse is not consistent in itself; it has ambiguities and contradictions. After scrutinizing Hardy's and Forster's short stories, this thesis also reveals that the stories' discourse on writing and archive shares some common features with the texts analyzed by Derrida. For instance, like Plato's "Phaedrus", Hardy's and Forster's short stories also consider textuality as a substitute to memory and underline the priority and importance of memory. These common features reveal that the short stories analyzed in this thesis partake in this metaphysical discourse. The analyses in this thesis also reveal that this apparently consistent discourse on archive and textuality has some contradictions. For instance, while the stories create an opposition between body and text, they describe textualized bodies. Additionally, Hardy's stories seem to underline the importance of presence but they, at the same time, describe this presence as a myth.
Citation Formats
E. Korkut, “Archival texts and bodies in Thomas Hardy’s and E.M. Forster’s short stories,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2014.