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n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - On being a discontinuous person : ontological insecurity, the wounded storyteller and time in Daniel Keyes's : original research

 

Abstract

This article explores ontological security and insecurity in Daniel Keyes's novel, . It opens with a very brief overview of the 1960s counter-culture to contextualise not only Keyes's novel but also Laing's theories of ontological (in)security. After a discussion of Laing's concept of ontological security and insecurity, the focus shifts to Arthur W. Frank's notions of the wounded storyteller and how Charlie Gordon's entry into the medical world constitutes a colonisation of the body that brings with it a deepening sense of ontological insecurity. In entering the world of medical research, Charlie becomes the wounded storyteller, offering a first-person account of his experiences during the experiment and its aftermath. As the initial success of the surgery deteriorates steadily into failure, with the protagonist's intelligence returning steadily to its pre-operation level, the question of time and how he can make the best use of it to record the experiment becomes paramount. The final section of the article centres on the growing link between the surgery's failure and how it increases the protagonist's ontological insecurity. He uses the diminishing amount of time available to him in search of understanding the fuller implications of the experiment. Eventually, he reverts to his initial rudimentary ontological security when he finds himself with the same intellectual level, as prior to the experiment.

Hierdie artikel ondersoek ontologiese sekerheid en onsekerheid in Daniel Keyes se roman, . Dit begin met 'n kort oorsig oor die kontrakultuur van die 1960's ten einde sowel Keyes se roman as Laing se teorieë oor ontologiese (on)sekerheid te kontekstualiseer. Na 'n bespreking van Laing se konsep van ontologiese sekerheid en onsekerheid word die fokus verskuif na Arthur W. Frank se begrip van die verwonde verteller en hoe Charlie Gordon se toetrede tot die mediese wêreld 'n kolonisering van die liggaam voorstel wat tegelykertyd 'n dieper wordende gevoel van ontologiese onsekerheid meebring. Wanneer Charlie die wêreld van mediese navorsing betree, word hy 'n verwondeverteller en gee hy in die eerste persoon rekenskap van sy ondervinding gedurende en na die eksperiment. Terwyl die aanvanklike sukses van die operasie geleidelik tot mislukking vervaag, met die hoofkarakter se intelligensie wat dan ook geleidelik tot die pre-operasievlak daal, word die kwessie van tyd en hoe Charlie dit die beste kan opteken, van oorheersende belang. Die artikel se laaste afdeling fokus op die groterwordende skakel tussen die mislukte operasie en die verhoging van die hoofkarakter se ontologiese onsekerheid. Hy gebruik die beperkte tyd wat tot sy beskikking is om die implikasies van die eksperiment breedvoeriger te verstaan. Uiteindelik keer hy terug na sy rudimentêre ontologiese sekerheid wanneer hy homself weer op dieselfde intellektuele vlak bevind as voor die eksperiment.

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/content/literat/36/1/EJC174106
2015-01-01
2016-12-03
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