Historical Referentiality in E.L. Doctorow's The Book of Daniel and Ragtime
Date of Award
Master of Arts
Dr. Jon R. Adams
Dr. Todd Kuchta
Dr. Gwen Tarbox
Historical referentiality, Doctorow's novels
Masters Thesis-Abstract Only
Restricted to Campus until
In this thesis I will argue that E.L. Doctorow's The Book of Daniel and Ragtime are historically referential, though in different ways. Using Elisabeth Wesseling's typology of historiographical metafiction, I suggest that The Book of Daniel qualifies as "self-reflexive" historiographic metafiction, while Ragtime emerges as what Wesseling calls "uchronian" historiographic metafiction. In the course of my examination of these two types of historiographic metafiction, I reveal that Doctorow's variety of postmodernist fiction actually serves to establish the historicity of historiographic metafiction and thus features its own variety of uniquely postmodern mimesis. My analyses of the novels counter critical claims by popular theorists such as Gerald Graff and Fredric Jameson that postmodern fiction has failed to represent history.
Aly, Hanan Hashem, "Historical Referentiality in E.L. Doctorow's The Book of Daniel and Ragtime" (2012). Masters Theses. 65.