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Resistance Through Space: A Comparative Study of Narrative and Space in Naked Lunch and On the Road
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay compares two influential novels from the Beat era, William Burroughs’ Naked Lunch and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, and how they use the spatial dimension of writing as a tool for resistance. The spatiality of Kerouac’s travel narrative is compared to the spatiality of Burroughs cut-up narrative, and the spaces of cities and the road are analyzed. I argue that On the Road is an attempt at a spiritual escape from Western dogmatism—dramatized through the means of a spatial journey—whilst Naked Lunch is attempting an escape from “control”, mediated through the means of a spatial destabilization in the narrative. In trying to define the term “control” used by Burroughs, I look at Foucault’s Discipline and Punish, as well as other sources, in order to determine which mechanisms of society that are being reacted against in these novels. The historical context of these two Beat writers as situated in the American postwar era is also considered – a context which is examined in relation to the concept of normality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , p. 21
Keywords [en]
Beat, space, resistance, control, cut-up, travel narrative, Kerouac, Burroughs, Foucault
National Category
General Literature Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-138262OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-138262DiVA, id: diva2:1066485
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Available from: 2017-01-19 Created: 2017-01-18 Last updated: 2017-01-19Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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