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Internal Punishment: A Psychoanalytical Reading of F. M. Dostoevskyʼs Crime and Punishment (1866), L. Rebreanuʼs Ciuleandra (1927) and P. Ackroydʼs Hawksmoor (1985)

Ciofu, Natalia (2018) Internal Punishment: A Psychoanalytical Reading of F. M. Dostoevskyʼs Crime and Punishment (1866), L. Rebreanuʼs Ciuleandra (1927) and P. Ackroydʼs Hawksmoor (1985). PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This doctoral thesis examines the representations and dynamics of crime and inner punishment in a range of European literary works of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: F.M. Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment (Преступлeние и наказaние, 1866), L. Rebreanu’s Ciuleandra (1927) and P. Ackroyd’s Hawksmoor (1985), while tracing the developments of crime fiction and the changes in criminal legal system over the span of one hundred and nineteen years. Utilising the methodology of comparative literature, I argue that the interiorized punishment - which I identify, after Foucault, as a new episteme - is a narrative thread that runs through all three novels, and informs much other writings in the same period. Informed by different socio-cultural, temporal, political, and stylistic backgrounds, each novelist utilizes distinct narrative techniques and strategies to configure their protagonists in such a way that permits the reader to get an insight into their psyches. The present study locates the literary tendency to fuse the character of the protagonist/hero and the perpetrator/anti-hero into one narrative entity and examines the literary representation of the factors that trigger the guilt or need for punishment in this entity. To this end, I focus on the narrative structure, temporal framework, geographical setting as well as the protagonists’ relations with other characters within the texts. The idea of self-punishment, its representations and manifestations, is explored through the lens of psychoanalytical theories of Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein, Jacques Lacan and Otto Rank. My psychoanalytical readings of the texts are furthermore complemented by the theoretical frameworks offered by Mikhail Bakhtinʼs theory of polyphony, Linda Hutcheonʼs account of historiographic metafiction and relevant philosophical perspectives such as Søren Kierkegaardʼs and Jean-Paul Sartreʼs existentialisms.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PG Slavic, Baltic, Albanian languages and literature
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0441 Literary History
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Natalia Ciofu
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2018 08:19
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2018 08:19
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/22365

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