Tom Stoppard’s Postmodernist Aesthetic in The Real Inspector Houndand After Magritte.
This thesis explores Tom Stoppard’s postmodern aesthetic. The focus will be on two of his nuts-and-bolts comedies:The Real Inspector Hound and After Magritte. The definition of postmodernism in John Barth’s twin essays “Literature of Exhaustion” and “Literature of Replenishment” will serve as an analytical framework to analyse the postmodern aesthetic in these two plays. This framework will be elaborated by theories of Western philosophers, such as Derrida, Wittgenstein, and Baudrillard, and the artist Magritte. This thesis argues that Stoppard questions and investigates the existential notions of human existence and reality using the postmodern modes of imitation, self-reflexivity, and by reconstructing the notions of identity and reality. Key words: Tom Stoppard, After Magritte, The Real Inspector Hound, nuts-and-bolts comedies, postmodern aesthetic, John Barth, “Literature of Exhaustion,” “Literature of Replenishment”
Faculteit der Letteren