AbstractThe modern road novel is a genre that originated in the middle of the twentieth century, and attained wide recognition with the publication of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road in 1957. The roots of the genre, however, date back much further, and encompass a diverse range of historical lineages. Among others, these include the picaresque tradition, pilgrimage stories, and quest narratives (which in turn connects to the monomyth and Jungian psychology). In addition, since the publication of On The Road, the genre has not limited itself to prose fiction; it is also features prominently in films, poetry, folk and rock songs, and creative nonfiction. Since each of these areas has influenced, and been influenced, by the others, the road story genre can thus only be understood in a postmodern and a multimedia context.
This creative-critical thesis draws on the genre’s historical roots as well as its contemporary, multimedia influences. These have informed the creation of a new, postmillenial road novel, The Drive, which seeks to both pay homage to and subvert the traditions of the genre, particularly in relation to narrative point of view, gender roles, and cultural perspectives. The novel consists of 77 chapters and forms the creative part of the thesis.
The novel is complemented by a reflective-critical essay (Roadworks) that sets out to analyze the specific historical roots and contemporary influences of the road story tradition, and examines how the genre has changed over time. In so doing the essay establishes some of the common tropes and structures of road stories, explores the key works that influenced the writing of The Drive, and then suggests the ways in which novel establishes its distinct identity and contributes something new to the tradition.
|Date of Award||23 May 2016|
|Supervisor||Matthew Francis (Supervisor) & Damian Walford Davies (Supervisor)|