Potential Cinema: Closet Film In Twentieth-Century Fiction
: This dissertation lays the initial groundwork for theorizing closet film as a literary genre. Though closet drama--poetry written in playscript form--has received attention from a wide variety of critics in literary, performance and cultural studies, no such body of work exists for thinking about closet film--fiction written in the form of the screenplay. Aside from the self-published work of independent scholar Quimby Melton--with whom I have collaborated on his ongoing project to form an online bibliography of what he terms the closet screenplay-- there exists quite literally no field of study, nor any initial attempt to theorize the limits and potentialities of the genre. This project offers a theorization of closet film informed by the philosophy of Giorgio Agamben, especially his focus on potentiality, which I argue helps describe closet film's tenuous stance toward production--closet film is a genre organized around the potential-not-to produce. Studying closet film also helps us rewrite the boundaries of what is considered possible in terms of literary and visual realism, and the "closet" itself constitutes an excellent new paradigm for understanding the space between film and the novel, opening up discussions of texts that have been largely overlooked or marginalized and enabling us to encounter old ones afresh. This project thus completely revamps our understanding of the novel and its relation to cinema, realism, ontology, and aesthetics.
Contemporary Literature; Film Studies; Potentiality
Attell, Kevin D.
Salvato, Nicholas G; Braddock, Jeremy; Villarejo, Amy
English Language and Literature
Ph. D., English Language and Literature
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis