Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/148089
Title: BROCH, CULTURE AND THE DEATH OF THE DEATH OF VIRGIL
Authors: GWEE LI SUI
Issue Date: 1997
Citation: GWEE LI SUI (1997). BROCH, CULTURE AND THE DEATH OF THE DEATH OF VIRGIL. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis performs a methodical unravelling of Hermann Broch's Death of Virgil as a formal critique of culture. The argument is made up essentially of two parts: one part presents the overall internal meaning of the work and the other part contextualizes this meaning within a larger external meaningfulness which mobilizes both worldly and human determinants. To construct this sense of mediation between two frames of meaning, the former part has been inserted between the latter part and this arrangement accounts for the three sections of the thesis. The first section is really a collection of prolegomena. Chapter One evaluates Broch's book as a literary accomplishment alongside a consideration of the author's moral character and this evaluation is conducted by juxtaposing The Death of Virgil with Ulysses and Broch with Joyce. The stratagem is one which recovers an other so as to define a truth that is found only in between and it will realize its full exertion and explication later in the second section. This line of argument being temporarily suspended, Chapter Two introduces another echelon of thought: the problematics of culture in both its epistemological and social considerations. The argument here proposes that Broch's understanding of culture as formational malice is the singular reason for the book's curious inner environment of perceivable silences. The second section, the bulk of the thesis, brings together the two momenta of argument by employing the stratagem of featuring the truth of betweenness, as performed in Chapter One, to give expression to the space of silences, as revealed in Chapter Two. The outcome is the performance of four forms, or axes, of narrativity where narrativity, or the activity of the narrative, is the attempt at differently constructing a narrative from the body of formal elements found within the story-narrative. Chapter Three demonstrates the formulation of three narratives, where the first is based on the text, the second on the common imagination spanning from author to reader and the third on symbolic reality extending across existential and historical moments. The fourth narrative, based on teleological reality stretching across points of anticipation and fulfilment, begins Chapter Four where the argument is led, at length, to its culmination in a critical consideration of Aeneas as the emblem of falsification in literary creation and, thereupon, the power of falsification may be uncovered as, circumstantially, the modern phenomenon of Kultur itself. The final section, or Chapter Five, is in effect an attempt to deny closure to the total argument by pursuing it one step further: the chapter demonstrates the necessity of complete destruction, where the role of the author and the external formation of the work for mass reception — bases on which the entire literary message has been mounted — must be negated in order that truth is secured.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/148089
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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