The use of parody in postmodern intertextual literary theories is described by critics as an ‘American phenomenon’ which has been recently developed as a consequence of the American’s writers’ attitude towards European tradition. Thus within the framework of “the most global concept possible for signifying the modern experience of writing, intertextuality” Michael Cunningham’s novel The Hours (1998) could be critically approached. Cunningham’s novel is written as a parody of the ‘party consciousness’ investigated many decades earlier by the British writer Virginia Woolf, especially in her novel Mrs Dalloway. He does not only bring Woolf back to life, as is apparent in the major role played by the fictional character of Virginia Woolf in the novel, but he also satirically attacks ideologies and concepts raised in Woolf’s novel with thought and originality. Moreover he attempts to capture the real essence of the nature of literature as ‘radial’ rather than ‘linear’ in structure. The paper aims at investigating Cunningham’s parody used while questioning Woolf’s themes and narrative techniques reframed and reshaped. Furthermore, it attempts to analyze the literary identity of The Hours which manifests itself in the plurality of characters. In fact, a close reading of the novel, shows fragmentation of characterization and universal concepts. An examination of this fragmentation sheds light on Cunningham’s employment of parody as a tool of rebellion.
|Keywords:||Theory, Gender Studies, Feminist Ideologies, Intertextuality, Parody, Satire, Radial Structure, Linear Structure|
Assistant Professor, English Department, Helwan University, Cairo, Cairo, Egypt
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