Master of Arts (MA)
First Advisor's Name
First Advisor's Committee Title
Second Advisor's Name
Second Advisor's Committee Title
Third Advisor's Name
Third Advisor's Committee Title
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Roland Barthes, Death of the Author, Michel Foucault
Date of Defense
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s literary style transforms from his first novel, "Player’s Piano" (1952), to his final book, "Timequake" (1997). Most of his novels adhere to a similar style – the narrators face a puzzling societal fault that is exaggerated in their dystopian societies, which hides Vonnegut’s humanistic leanings.
This thesis, however, focuses on Vonnegut’s authorial identity, his use of the alter ego, and eventual entrance into the novel. His authorial role challenges the literary theory expressed in “The Death of the Author”(1967) by Roland Barthes and further discussed in “What is an Author”(1969) by Michel Foucault. Barthes explains an author metaphorically dies after his book is published and Foucault questions the author’s role and importance to his novel.
Vonnegut juxtaposes fictional and nonfictional material whereby his character is paramount to his work. Therefore, Vonnegut challenges Barthes and Foucault’s notion that an author restricts his work; rather, Vonnegut’s identity empowers his novels.
Mayerchak, Justin Philip, "Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Confronts the Death of the Author" (2016). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2440.
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