Fragments of the Moon is a novel set mostly in South Korea, examining relationships between people, interpersonal spaces, architectural spaces and landscape through a cross-cultural context. Matt, a graduate architect from Perth, Australia, finds himself increasingly vulnerable to cultural confusion as he adjusts to life away from his home and friends. Having initially assumed that Seoul's western facade echoes its social dynamic, Matt increasingly discovers that the Confucianism which underpins much of contemporary Korean society makes all relationships far more complex than his assumptions had allowed. Together with a Canadian student who is seeking to find the essence of a different Korea through her investigation of Buddhism, and through meeting diverse Korean characters, readers will discover several of the many facets of contemporary Korean culture. Readers will be encouraged to test the slippery surfaces on which familiar and unfamiliar attitudes to bodies, landscape and created spaces rest. 'Body, Space, Ideas of Home: Cross-cultural Perspectives' (thesis) The thesis examines the interaction of body space, architectural space, landscape, and emotional states in contemporary literary fiction from several cultural perspectives. Bodies, landscapes, and architectural spaces are shown to be devices through which contemporary authors with different cultural backgrounds have expressed character and explored ideas, especially thematic concerns related to cultural or cross-cultural confusion or understanding. Notions of 'feeling at home' and 'being alien' are investigated through the work of authors who either have a cross-cultural heritage (e.g. Jhumpa Lahiri a Bengali/American), or who write about a culture which is not their own (e.g. Dianne Highbridge, an Australian writing about Japan). Several chosen authors explore the relationships between the spiritual and the physical, the metaphysical and the corporeal. These elements are particularly highlighted when examining the narratives of Tim Winton (The Riders, 1994) and Simone Lazaroo (The World Waiting To Be Made, 1994); and two of Japan's most popular writers, Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood, 2000) and Banana Yoshimoto (Lizard, 1995). For some writers, this exploration of spaces forms the focal point of their work; for others, it is an important facet of their narrative world, which helps to ground their writing for contemporary readers whose own backgrounds must also influence their understandings.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2007|