Postmodern Space Revisited: Hypertextuality and Materiality in the Selected Novels of Mark Z. Danielewski, Steve Tomasula, and Lance Olsen
Aslan Uslu, Gülşen
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This dissertation explores the role of space and spatial practices in contemporary American fiction which are revealed through the use of postmodernist literary characteristics, hypertext, and materiality. In connection with the growing critical interest in the workings of space, its uses, and constructions, contemporary fiction offers a rich ground for the discussions of space and spatiality. By focusing on three contemporary novels House of Leaves (2000) by Mark Z. Danielewski, VAS: An Opera in Flatland (2002) by Steve Tomasula, Theories of Forgetting (2014) by Lance Olsen in three chapters, the characteristics of postmodernism, hypertext, and materiality are investigated in the novels that contemplate on the multilayered, fragmented, and networked space of contemporary culture. This research outlines three categories, the spatial form, the narrative space, and the spatial design through which the novels show how an understanding of space is inextricably bound to the form, the content, and the material features of the novel. The first category in this study is spatial form which is used and extended with postmodern literary devices and hypertext. The second category of space is the narrative space of the fictional world which contemplates on different places and spaces such as the house, the human body, and the earthwork. The final category of space is the spatial design, or the material space of the page and the book. Focusing on these three categories, this study prompts a re-thinking of the role of space in fiction and the ways it reshapes the novels by creating literary architectures in experimental ways.