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MA Thesis on Transgressive Literature: Opinions and Tips Welcome :)

WalkingNotebook's picture WalkingNotebook
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Hey guys, I'm currently writing my thesis for my Master's, and was hoping any of you might be able to give me some advice or suggest some (academic) books to read. My research topic is:

"The Social Construct of Transgressive Fiction: An Exploration of Transgression and Controversy in the works of Palahniuk, Ellis and Burroughs"

Basically, in simple terms, what I'm trying to claim is that "transgressive", as a label or genre, is dependent on social circumstance, and therefore a social construct. A large part of this claim is the argument that controversy is a social construct, but that's pretty obvious. I'm comparing two novels from three different authors from three different time periods, and putting their "transgressiveness" into context.

The books I'm covering are:

Chuck Palahniuk: Fight Club and Invisible Monsters (representing late 90's and early 2000's)
Bret Easton-Ellis: American Psycho and The Informers (representing 80's and early 90's)
William S. Burroughs: Naked Lunch and Queer (representing 60's and 70's)

To make things easier, I've taken four different aspects of transgressive literature to examine (I'm only looking at content and subject, not at style or structure of transgressive fiction):

Sexual Transgression
Moral Bankruptcy/Confusion
Isolation, Identity and Existentialism
Ultraviolence and criminality

Any thoughts, tips, or suggestions? At the moment, I'm having particular trouble with the methodology…

Thanks in advance!