Title: Boundary Street
Abstract: Reality is a key thematic concern in postmodern literature, and there is concurrent literary criticism into how ontological questions are explored in these narratives. Of interest to this research is the difference between fiction merely about reality/realities, and fiction that moves readers to question their own understanding of their reality. The primary aim of this research, therefore, is to explore how works of postmodern narrative fiction might occasion ontological crises in readers. ‘Ontological crisis’, in the context of this research, is a process by which readers of narrative fiction come to doubt their prior understanding of physical reality. The research identifies narrative techniques and devices employed in postmodern fiction to produce such doubt, including frame tales, embedded narratives, and metalepsis; doubling and doppelgangers; and metafictional self-reference. These techniques and devices are used as part of a persuasive strategy to undermine a reader’s prior ontological framework
Bio: Caitlin Noakes completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) with majors in creative writing and history at the University of the Sunshine Coast in 2012. Her honours thesis explored the use of narrative voice in Australian historical fiction within the frameworks of postcolonial and formalist literary theory. Her work has been published in Pressure Gauge Journal and Voiceworks, and presented on ABC Radio Brisbane, at the Woodford Folk Festival, and at the Brisbane Writers Festival. She has worked as a lecturer and tutor at the University of the Sunshine Coast since 2012 in communication, history, and creative writing.
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