In two minds (novel); and A singular voice (dissertation)

Jennifer Albertson

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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'In Two Minds' is a novel of false beliefs. Set in contemporary Sydney, it deals with the relationship between two sisters in their late thirties, Kara and Linda Hille. Told in the second person singular from the point of view of the elder sister, Linda, it is based around the neurological delusion of the younger sibling, Kara. Kara wrongly believes that their mother, Stella, has been replaced by an impostor, 'Mrs. Whitegloves'. For the greater part, the narrative 'you' relates events in the sisters' lives and deals with issues such as the consequences of condoned child abuse, the dilemma of human cloning and the future of 'the brand' in the light of contemporary global marketing. Linda, an advertising executive, struggles with a formidable work-project, an account that is lost to a competitor, and the mistaken belief that she is responsible for her sister's plight. Shocking graffiti about herself, which appears at the same time as she wins an advertising award, proves to be the catalyst that brings beneficial change to her life. Through the tragedy of confronting her sister's devastation and her own challenges, Linda leaves her job, believing this will allow her to start again - differently. In the final chapter, the difference is registered in a shift from the second person to the consolidated first person method of narration. ABSTRACT EXEGESIS The dissertation 'A Singular Voice' documents aspects of authorial, psychoanalytical and literary significance in the creation of a fiction which draws on personal material confrontational to the writer. It also discusses some wider (non-fictional and other) uses of the narrative 'you' in order to establish the literary tradition in which the novel 'In Two Minds' may be situated. This disseration examines the use of the second-person singular pronoun 'you' as narrator, mainly in contemporary fiction. It concentrates on the ways in which the narrative 'you' was employed to achieve a 'cover', mask or persona for the 'I' behind the text in the novel 'In Two Minds', and explains why it was necessary to seek such subterfuge. It describes how certain grammatical and rhetorical resources were used to build and maintain 'cover', while at the same time allowing the narrative 'you' to express a particular aspect of the fictional protagonist, address the reader, and sustain the story of which it is the intradiegetic narratee. Related narrative elements include construction of the characters through the use of the narrative 'you', for example the narcissistic mother, Stella; the phantom double, 'Mrs. Whitegloves'; the sufferer of Capgras' delusion, Kara; and the ultimate bearer of the singular 'you' voice, the protagonist Linda.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2008


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