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Bailey, Peter William (2014)
Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
Subjects: PR0481, PN0080
Nick is a young graduate with no direction in life until a friend introduces him to the concept of dérive and explains how Nick can become a twentieth-century flâneur in London. The result is a unique meditation on life, love, friendship and time, set against the urban landscape.\ud \ud However this is no ordinary story of a graduate, facing feelings of aimlessness and lethargy. When he was twelve, Nick learned he has an illness which means he will be confined to a wheelchair. The story encompasses Nick’s reveries on loss, romantic dreams and sharp observations of the contrasts between his life and others’.\ud \ud My writing is classed as fictional autobiography. The narrative of the novel is split between two realities. The first is the present, in which Nick (confined to a wheelchair) is struggling to write his novel and find his place in life. The second is based on Nick’s recollections, expressed through written accounts of his dreams. The two realities are described in alternate chapters.\ud \ud Unseen Stars is centred around the idea of the dérive. A dérive is a concept developed by French philosophers in the 1960's. It proposes a journey whereby the individual lets himself be drawn towards places that appeal to him. Nick goes on his derive; a voyage of self-discovery. A dérive is psychogeographical, one's surroundings have a direct effect on one's state of mind. I merge the realities in the novel by making a dérive psycho-memorial too (i.e. where one is in time – memory - affects one's state of mind).\ud \ud The critical introduction addresses the principal themes arising from my novel. The themes examined are psychogeography and urban wandering (especially The Arcades Project). I will focus on dream, psychologies and perception of time, discussing the inspiration of literary works following similar psychogeographical/philosophical guidelines.
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    • 1 Saunders, Max, Self Impression: Life-Writing, Autobiografiction, and the Forms of Modern Literature (Oxford: OUP 2010).
    • 1962. But for a brief period of political excitement in 1959 when Charles de Gaul became 7 Jonathan Dewald. Lost Worlds: the Emergence of French Social History, 1815-1970 (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2006) p.137.
    • 8 Gilles Ivain. “Formulary for a New Urbanism” (1953) Internationale Situationniste 1 (June 1958) p.11.
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