Subjectivity in literature and cinema: Alain Resnais's collaborations with three modernist novelists

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

William Rothman, Committee Chair


In this dissertation, I will present a modernist approach to "reading" a film, one that concerns the dichotomy of Time the destroyer and Memory the preserver. I will demonstrate such an approach in this dissertation and argue that films call for an active reading in a similar manner to literature. My argument states that modernist films, in exploring the conditions of their medium, address film's relation to literature. In a similar way, modernist literature addresses its relationship to modernist film. For this reason, I will focus especially on novels by three major figures of modernist French literature, Marguerite Duras, Jean Cayrol, and Alain Robbe-Grillet, their cinematic collaborations with Alain Resnais, a leader in modernist film, and more recent developments by Atom Egoyan.


Literature, Romance; Cinema

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