Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Timothy Erwin

Second Committee Member

Anne Stevens

Third Committee Member

Megan Becker-Leckrone

Fourth Committee Member

Gregory S. Brown

Number of Pages



This dissertation examines the formal indeterminacies in unfinished novels of the eighteenth-century. My methodology emphasizes the productive conditions that lead to structural and linguistic gaps, including the literal death of the author, the abandonment of the work, the distortions of censorship and translation, and the discursive afterlife of the novel. These narratological considerations provide an opportunity to discuss the relationship between form and content, especially in relation to the radical politics of these enlightenment authors. The novels that I will examine are Mary Wollstonecraft’s The Wrongs of Woman: or, Maria (1798), Denis Diderot’s Mystification (1768), Friedrich Schiller’s The Ghost-Seer (1787-1789), Laurence Sterne’s A Political Romance (1759), Peter Teuthold’s The Necromancer (1794), and three novels by the Marquis de Sade: The 120 Days of Sodom (1785), Justine (1791), and Juliette (1797-1801). One of my primary goals in this dissertation is to lay out new directions in the discussion of these troublesome works. As such, these essays are comparative in nature: I will incorporate discourses from critical theory, art theory, and especially film theory as a means of revealing thematic connections between the eighteenth-century and the modern condition. In this fusion of discourses, I highlight the interrelation between the work as a partially-determined utterance and the work as commodity.


Hermeneutics; Indeterminacy; Novel


Arts and Humanities

File Format


File Size

4500 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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