Chaotic narrative : complexity, causality, time and autopoiesis in David Mitchell’s Ghostwritten
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David Mitchell is one of Britain’s foremost contemporary writers who is only just becoming the subject of academic attention. Focusing on his first novel, Ghostwritten (1999), this essay argues that the science of complexity provides a language with which to account for the novel’s complex interconnecting structure. The novel is defined as an autopoietic system according to the theories of Maturana and Varela and its engagement with the issues of causality and time explored in relation to the work of Ilya Prigogine. The paper concludes that Ghostwritten is a complex narrative system that responds to the intimate connection between the macroscopic and the microscopic in the contemporary world.
Dillon , S J 2011 , ' Chaotic narrative : complexity, causality, time and autopoiesis in David Mitchell’s Ghostwritten ' , Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction , vol. 52 , no. 2 , pp. 135-162 . https://doi.org/10.1080/00111610903380170
Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction
This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published as ‘Chaotic Narrative: Complexity, Causality, Time and Autopoiesis in David Mitchell’s Ghostwritten’, Critique 52:2 (2011), 135-62 [copyright Taylor & Francis], available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/00111610903380170
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