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2012 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III - Session IV

Dual Narratives, Footnotes, and Movement in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

This paper posits that the novel becomes dependent on the form that it takes in the way it is actually laid out on the page, even though that form may be harder to distinguish than traditional forms in poetry. A very recent example of this is Junot Diaz's Pulitzer Prize winning work, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. What separates this novel from many other works, is the introduction of a new form of second narrative as told through footnotes which expand on and enrich the text. Diaz, with a determined irreverence, gives us footnotes filled with an alternate story line linked to the main body of the text. This new use of a traditional form creates a second narrative, a form within a form, that has traditionally been used only as an encyclopedic aside, which makes Wao an example of how form shapes the meaning of a text.

Presenter: Roy Bakos (SUNY College at Buffalo) --
Topic: English/Humanities - Panel
Location: 216 Hartwell
Time: 3:15 pm (Session IV)