Threading the Labyrinth: a Novel & Gardens and the Fantastic: Space and Time in Threading the Labyrinth

Angus, Tiffani (2015) Threading the Labyrinth: a Novel & Gardens and the Fantastic: Space and Time in Threading the Labyrinth. Doctoral thesis, Anglia Ruskin University.

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Abstract

This thesis comprises a novel and a critical commentary. The novel, Threading the Labyrinth, is a historical-fantasy novel set in an English manor-house garden over four centuries. The commentary explores the intersection of time and space in gardens, both fictional and real, and how this has influenced my creative process. The commentary begins with an investigation of borders between genre designations and my argument for the term “temporal instability” to describe the variation of timeslip I employ, which differs from that found in other fantasy novels with garden settings. Real and fictional gardens are chronotopes, or “time-spaces,” based on Mikhail Bakhtin’s theory; this intersection of space and time influences the verisimilitude and characterisation used to encourage the suspension of disbelief necessary for historical and fantasy fiction. A narrative of separate but interconnected stories of other times within the same space designate my novel as a composite novel. I also argue for the fictional garden as a heterotopia, and each novel section as a heterochrony, based on Michel Foucault’s theories. Gardens are cultural creations, and the influence of the hortus conclusus, or walled garden, makes it nearly impossible to write a fictional garden without inadvertently creating a metaphor for the Garden of Eden or Paradise. Further, planting a garden is a pursuit of perfection; writing is much the same, with studies of creative writing processes illustrating how writers follow various steps in their pursuit of narrative “perfection.” Finally, Susan Stanford Friedman’s theory of spatialization assists in placing the author in relation to reader, the creative product, the historical context of its creation, and the nearly uncountable outside texts that influenced it.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Keywords: garden, historical, fantasy, border, timeslip, chronotope, verisimilitude, characterisation, composite novel, heterotopia, heterochrony, hortus conclusus, metaphor, spatialization
Faculty: Theses from Anglia Ruskin University
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2021 15:13
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2021 11:22
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/706751

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