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Negotiating @#&%, decensorship, censure-ship, and 20th-century novels in Britain and North America

by Clandfield, Peter David

Abstract (Summary)
N & gotiating e#$r is the prorcss vhercby producers and amsumets of mels. or other cultural produas, describe and debate murlity and scato1ogy. In this thesis 1 use Mikhaii BlLhün's idea of the "insvcr-word." the respcmse that any uttetance mua pmvoke in œder to be tegistered as signiiicmt, to argue that readers'abjections to puticular «amples of mq% should not be dismissed as repressivc but should be recagaitod as a source of potential resistanee to state-spanraed censorship. 1 bain my lirst chnpter by drawiag on the work of Bakhtin. Michel Foucault and others to argue that freedom d expression is not an immuîable entity but a malleable concept rlways under negotiation. 1 go on to examine what 1 cal1censtue-ship: the public articuîation d hostile "answef-words" to particular culturai products. Although censarship and censure-ship are related bath etymologicaîly and practidy. it W vitaî to disüngubh between them. While censorship attempts-not always successfully-40 reply to its targets with an ollicirl, definitive mer-wœd. censure-ship--ideaUy-generates ongohg public dialogue which can benefit both its praditioners and its Urgets. Postering censure-ship (which requires media in which to erist) is. then, the best vry to cotanter.a even pre-empt, œnsœship. My remaining eight chapters show hm these arguments applg to the novd, both in th- and in the cases of pvticulv texts. 1OOilœntrate cm fictional representatims d what Bakhtin caiîs the ''bodity fmer stfatum" that foster censute-ship by ackmwiedgiag the paver d readcrs to use and reacœntuate terts in ways beycmd authairil amtrol. In chaptet two 1 examine James Joyce's VIysss as an example of this Bakhtuiian type d and also as a novel which, despite its reputation for radical boldness in the use of four-letter words, suggests the subversive potcntial d provocative io erplicitness. 1go on in chipter three to takt issue with writers and theorists such as Georges Bataiiîe who focus erdusively on violent and othecwise ertreme lorms of &% ad whose wœk d'fers limited sape la answer-wards. In chapter four 1 argue that negotiathg a%. while it mry be stressfulfor particular readers (d BataUesque terts especially), an be considercd u an unusuaîîy dramatic instance of the dialogue bctween utterances and answer-words that U essential to the life of rny novel.
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Source Type:Master's Thesis

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Date of Publication:01/01/1997

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