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The Mistress of Ceremonies: A Creative and Critical Exploration of Contemporary “Madness”.

Finelli, A. (2012) The Mistress of Ceremonies: A Creative and Critical Exploration of Contemporary “Madness”. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

The Mistress of Ceremonies: A Creative and Cultural Exploration of Contemporary “Madness”’ is a critical and creative project which interrogates cultural assumptions about the binary between sanity and insanity. My novel, The Mistress of Ceremonies, tells the story of Moni Abramowitz and Walter Spinks, two individuals who are suffering from acute mental illness in the fictionalised Umor Springs, Massachusetts. Moni is a nineteenth century hysteric living in the twenty-first century while Walter, plagued by a variety of DSM-diagnosed disorders cultivates his madness against the external factors of contemporary society. Over the course of the novel Moni and Walter explore their madness through an interweaving of temporal and narrative space to meet in a dystopic middle. While Moni’s construction is influenced by a historicized reinterpretation of ‘hysteria’, Walter is a product of the pharmaceutical industry. The novel is followed by a critical overview and assessment of the key sources, concepts and methodologies that informed the work. The discussion touches on the seminal work of Foucault and Freud to understand how terms from mental health such as ‘paranoia’ and ‘schizophrenia’ have become cultural/national metaphors to describe prevailing movements in contemporary American fiction. The thesis ends with a discussion which draws together the critical and creative components of the thesis together to demonstrate the ways in which this project seeks to make a new intervention.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Finelli, A.
Date : 2012
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2012.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 24 Apr 2020 15:26
Last Modified : 24 Apr 2020 15:26
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/855275

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