Wonder Boys and the Neo-Existentialist Bildungsroman

Prof Laurie Petrou
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I aim to demonstrate the way in which a new form of Bildungsroman has adapted early existential characteristics to address the contemporary individual in midlife. Examining the novel "Wonder Boys" by Michael Chabon, I will explore the complexities of this phenomena and will analyze the work through philosophical and cultural theory.

Keywords: Short Fiction, Existentialism, Bildungsroman, Midlife
Stream: Arts Agendas, Art in Communities, Meaning and Representation
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Wonder Boys and the Neo-Existentialist Bildungsroman

Prof Laurie Petrou

Assistant Professor, School of Radio and Television Arts, Ryerson University
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Laurie is a writer and artist teaching at Ryerson University. She is currently working on a book of short fiction to be published by Pedlar Press. The book coinsides with her current research focus and the completion of her PhD. The focus is on the connection between midlife and traditional Bildungsroman in contemporary fiction and how this suggests a kind of neo-existentialism reflective of a culture of increasing loneliness and individualism. Laurie's book is a creative response to both the theory and practice of such writing. Additionally, as she is an artist/designer, Laurie is interested in graphic novels, and expects to develop one in future. She has a background in the Fine arts and has shown her work in Canada and internationally.

Ref: A06P0409