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Outsider and solipsistic daydreamer. Two attitudes towards modernity in works of Henry Miller and Charles Bukowski

Błażej Szymankiewicz

Abstract

My thesis is a scientific essay, and its primary purpose is to try to find an answer to the question: what the intellectual and cultural specificity of the modern era is and how these ideas are implemented in literature. I do it on the example of the works of two American writers - Charles Bukowski and Henry Miller, referring to many contexts (pop culture and TV series, films, phenomena of cultural anthropology, the writings of other authors). In my analysis, I try to prove that the common goal of this writing is an attempt to convey individual (and thus social) experience of modernity. Both writers try to tame the chaos of modern life and translate it into the language of literature. Miller's project and his attitude towards modernity arise from the mixing of premodern inspirations with typically modern strategies and influences. On the other hand, Bukowski's attitude, which I call misanthropocentric kynism, is based on anarchic impulses, standing in radical opposition to the modern "American dream". In the thesis, I try to find an answer to the question whether the writers who died several decades ago are able to tell us something new and insightful about the late modernity, and whether their creative philosophies can resonate among contemporary people, who are experiencing modernity in its full variety?
Record ID
UAMfd31b8fd83464199820b0b8db731e718
Diploma type
Doctor of Philosophy
Author
Title in Polish
Outsider i solipsystyczny marzyciel. Dwie postawy wobec nowoczesności w twórczości Henry’ego Millera i Charlesa Bukowskiego
Title in English
Outsider and solipsistic daydreamer. Two attitudes towards modernity in works of Henry Miller and Charles Bukowski
Language
pol (pl) Polish
Certifying Unit
Wydział Filologii Polskiej i Klasycznej [nowa struktura organizacyjna] (SNoJiL/WFPiK)
Scientific discipline (2.0)
1.5 literary studies
Year of creation
2021
Defense Date
16-08-2021
Title date
16-08-2021
Supervisor
Pages
269
URL
https://hdl.handle.net/10593/26501 Opening in a new tab
Keywords in English
modernity; American literature; modern literature; autobiography
Abstract in English
My thesis is a scientific essay, and its primary purpose is to try to find an answer to the question: what the intellectual and cultural specificity of the modern era is and how these ideas are implemented in literature. I do it on the example of the works of two American writers - Charles Bukowski and Henry Miller, referring to many contexts (pop culture and TV series, films, phenomena of cultural anthropology, the writings of other authors). In my analysis, I try to prove that the common goal of this writing is an attempt to convey individual (and thus social) experience of modernity. Both writers try to tame the chaos of modern life and translate it into the language of literature. Miller's project and his attitude towards modernity arise from the mixing of premodern inspirations with typically modern strategies and influences. On the other hand, Bukowski's attitude, which I call misanthropocentric kynism, is based on anarchic impulses, standing in radical opposition to the modern "American dream". In the thesis, I try to find an answer to the question whether the writers who died several decades ago are able to tell us something new and insightful about the late modernity, and whether their creative philosophies can resonate among contemporary people, who are experiencing modernity in its full variety?

Uniform Resource Identifier
https://researchportal.amu.edu.pl/info/phd/UAMfd31b8fd83464199820b0b8db731e718/
URN
urn:amu-prod:UAMfd31b8fd83464199820b0b8db731e718

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