Legendary Days – a novel, and the Aspects of Geek Culture in Fiction

Bueno, Bernardo (2013) Legendary Days – a novel, and the Aspects of Geek Culture in Fiction. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

This Creative and Critical Writing PhD thesis explores the dialogue between fiction
and geek culture. It seeks to understand the definitions and uses of the terms ‘geek’, ‘nerd’
and ‘otaku’ over time. I look for points of commonality and how they have been used in
texts since the seventeenth century. After this initial exploration, I move to a close reading
of three novels that are representative of geek culture. These texts comment on geek
culture though they do not belong to genres traditionally associated with it, such as fantasy
or science fiction.
Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao makes extensive use of
footnotes, intertextuality and hypertextuality. Douglas Coupland’s Microserfs explores the
influence of technology, tries to define geeks and nerds, plays with form and language, and
touches on the subject of posthumanity. Meanwhile, Nakano Hitori’s Train Man, which
began life as a collective online message board thread, challenges common tenants of
fiction, especially that of authorship and form.
The novels, in the order in which they are discussed, move from the traditional to
the innovative. They pose questions about the way in which geek culture interacts with
fiction, how this influence plays out in terms of theme, characterisation, format, and the
reading experience. Finally, these novels also interrogate ways geek culture might help us
understand the future of fiction writing. Both thesis and novel were designed with the idea
of ‘play’ in mind, with particular reference to games, flexibility and contestation.
The creative element of this thesis, Legendary Days, is a geeky novel about saving
memories. The protagonist, after loosing his father, writes down his own memories in a
narrative that plays with geek culture and related themes. It follows the same character in
three different times and contexts, while also allowing for several intertextual
intromissions throughout the text.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature and Creative Writing
Depositing User: Mia Reeves
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2014 10:26
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2014 10:26
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/48390
DOI:

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