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April 16, 2010 | History

Prophets of disaffect: antisocial individualism in the contemporary American novel. 1 edition

Prophets of disaffect
Geoff Hamilton

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Prophets of disaffect
antisocial individualism in the contemporary American novel.

Published 2005 .
Written in English.

About the Book

This study traces the fate of the "affectless" type---what I call the antisocial individualist---in exemplary American novels of the last fifty or so years. In chapters on Norman Mailer, Vladimir Nabokov, Cormac McCarthy, Don DeLillo and James Ellroy, I explore this figure's lack of conventional conscience and violation of the strictest social taboos, dangerous liberties whose representation highlights both the contours of those taboos and the private desires they are meant to inhibit. The antisocial individualist has, I suggest, been a privileged means for exploring the troubled remnants of an American identity founded on notions of individual autonomy, "natural" goodness, and regenerative violence. My central contention is that these figures have been critically important in negotiating the status of individual freedom in America during the last half century. Besides questions relating to antisocial acts and the autonomy of the individual, my work explores a number of related themes, among them the construction of evil, the mythologies of mental illness, the intersection of race and crime, and the aetiology, aesthetics and gendering of violence.

Edition Notes

Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 66-10, Section: A, page: 3646.

Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Toronto, 2005.

Electronic version licensed for access by U. of T. users.

The Physical Object

218 leaves.
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