College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

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David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas, remediation, post-human, contemporary fiction


This thesis explores the works of novelist David Mitchell, paying specific attention to the ways in which he uses his narratives to emulate and remediate global networks and contemporary fiction tropes. Though his novels are rarely set in the immediate present, Mitchell's creations are connected in ways that specifically evoke social networks, Internet databases and new media. He has created an insular universe through five novels, and goes out his way to show that every character is a node in a web that spans all five. Characters reappear in novels that are not otherwise related to each other, or reveal familial and ancestral connections to previous or future characters. I will explore each novel in turn, mapping the connections within and between each work. In addition, I will also show that Mitchell is interested in contemporary fictional practices such as remediation, patchwriting, and appropriation.