Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Venturesome solitude, solitude ventured
Authors: Hudson, David Samuel
Keywords: Solitude in literature
Literature -- History and criticism -- Theory, etc.
Social isolation
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: What is solitude? This undergraduate dissertation attempts a 12,000-long answer to that vexing question. It acknowledges the undesirable circumstances related with friendlessness and isolation where solitude is concerned, but is ultimately anchored in reflections on the integral relation between solitude and artistic creation. Referring to a range of studies from psychology to literary theory, from Anthony Storr to Derrida, this long essay takes a look at a total aspect of solitude – from physical isolation to the impossibility of truth. It also focuses on literature, starting with examples from William Wordsworth and ending with Don Delillo, to explore examples of different aspects of solitude. Starting from 19th Century writers for whom physical isolation was revered by the imagination, the dissertation looks at what this physical isolation results in and how this kind of solitude is conducive to a work of art. It then moves into the early 20th Century where Modernists explored solitude from the aspect of truth. Solitude becomes an unavoidable phenomenon since truth becomes a subjective claim, and it is explored how this resulted in writing. In the 21st Century, literature becomes documented experience, working within the conceits of fiction, perhaps in some cases also flaunting its philosophical contentions on life, while still semi-conscious that it is trapped in a solitary state, condemning the writer to an endless tyranny of interpretations. Ultimately, the dissertation presents solitude as the necessary workspace for writing while conversely noting that the experience of solitude itself is conducive to self-knowledge, and thus other knowledge that follows, as attested by the multiple writings referenced in the essay. The dissertation concludes by asking the question of where the writer is heading and whether the technological environment allows those who might wish to be solitary to still retain some aspect of aloneness. It makes the point – following the logical argument in the body of the essay – that if reclusiveness becomes a harder feat to accomplish, then the literary world could very well be at risk.
Description: B.A.(HONS)ENGLISH
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2014
Dissertations - FacArtEng - 2014

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
  Restricted Access
1.06 MBAdobe PDFView/Open Request a copy

Items in OAR@UM are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.