Master of Arts (MA)
First Committee Member
Number of Pages
This study analyzes the use of second-person narrative in postmodern fiction, both in terms of narrative mechanics and in relation to certain theories of how fiction is able to represent--and misrepresent--the empirical world. The two works examined in this study, Italo Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveler and Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, exemplify this narrative form and, taken together, seem to exhaust its possibilities; A primary concern of this study, therefore, is to articulate these possibilities, but not merely for the sake of creating a taxonomy. Rather, this study examines how the use of second-person narrative in the two novels both corresponds with and subverts a number of critical approaches. In the process, this study asserts that the second person, as used in postmodern fiction, participates in the larger postmodern program of destabilizing traditional ontological boundaries, especially that separating the fictive world from the real.
Italo Calvino; Italy; Narrative; Novels; Person; Postmodern; Second; Study; Thomas Pynchon
Literature, Modern; American literature
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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Breene, Thomas E, "You: A study of second-person narrative in two postmodern novels" (1998). UNLV Retrospective Theses & Dissertations. 966.