Chaotic narrative: complexity, causality, time and autopoiesis in David Mitchell’s Ghostwritten

Sarah Joanne Dillon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-162
Number of pages28
JournalCritique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction
Volume52
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2011

Keywords

  • David Mitchell
  • Ghostwritten
  • Interconnection
  • Science
  • Autopoiesis
  • H.D.
  • Chaos Theory

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