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Navigating the Minefield

Hawkes's Narratives of Perversion


Michaele Whelan

John Hawkes, an anomalous postmodernist, has been uneasily grouped with John Fowles, Thomas Pynchon, and Julio Cortázar, but his works are more often examined alone. Primarily surveys, studies of Hawkes's works tend to become catalogues of the grotesque, the perverse, and the taboo. As a means of navigating Hawkesian texts of fragments, gaps, and split narrators, this study provides a new theoretical approach that combines psychoanalytic thought and gendered narratology. It identifies and examines structures of deformation - deformation of vision, affect, and subjugation in Hawkes's highly stylized and self-conscious first-person narratives.