Thesis Title

Expressing Loneliness: The Importance Of Form In Lorrie Moore's Early Experimental Fiction

Author

Trisa Moss

Date of Graduation

Spring 2001

Degree

Master of Arts in English

Department

English

Committee Chair

James Jones

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature

Abstract

Lorrie Moore's first two books Anagrams and Self-Help, employ experimental forms to convey the feelings of loneliness and isolation that define her characters. In both of these books, form becomes an integral part of meaning. New Aestheticism calls for criticism to return to an appreciation of aesthetic and formal qualities of literature, and this attention to form is necessary when studying Lorrie Moore's early works. Drawing on the avant-garde movements of Impressionism, Expressionism, Cubism, Dadaism, and Surrealism, her fiction uses experimental elements to expose the internal workings of her characters, in rich prose. Applying formalist aesthetics to Anagram and Self-Help reveals how structural innovation in her works, including the use of first-, second-, and third person narration and mimicking the structure of a self-help book, servers to express themes of loneliness by mirroring the desperate isolation of her characters.

Copyright

© Trisa Moss

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