Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion

2017

Thesis Director

Jad Smith

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate the space where readers and texts interact. By applying non-Euclidean geometry to the modern subgenre of science fiction known as steampunk, we can see that narratives have no intrinsic geometry. Instead, what we can understand is that readers unflatten inherently flat narratives by applying their own metric of understanding to a narrative. Steampunk acts a primer to considering this mathematical process by explicitly flattening its settings and characters, as well as the historical accounts founding the narrative. Mark Hodder's novel, The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack, offers two characters that unsuccessfully attempt to act as non-Euclidean readers. Through manipulation of agency, Hodder's novel demonstrates the unflattening process as we read novels. However, our unflattening process distorts a narrative through the application of our metric of understanding. The study first gives a short historical account of non-Euclidean geometry in the 19th century. The analysis stems from the application of non-Euclidean geometric thinking to narrative structures.

Graduate Program

English

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