Home Page Image
  Steven E. Alford is a professor of Humanities at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida


The links below connect to articles I've published. Please note that these articles are property of the author, and any duplication or other use of them must have the author's permission.

From the introduction: "I will demonstrate that thematically the novels develop the problematic of self-identity. Along the way I will show how questions of identity flow into questions about textuality, and undermine the ontologically distinct categories of author, narrator, and reader. Thematically, The New York Trilogy argues that the self—within the novels and without—is a textual construct, and subject to the difference and deferral inherent in language. The novels enact a series of binary oppositions—between characters engaged in dramatic psychological and physical confrontation—that demonstrates the impossibility of a pure opposition between self and other. From within every conflicted doubling a triad emerges, challenging our commonsense notions of the self.






Chance in Contemporary Narrative: The Example of Paul Auster

From the introduction:In interviews, memoirs, and fiction, Paul Auster exhibits an ongoing concern with the phenomenon of chance.  Yet Auster's texts offer examples of the operation of of chance that seem to contradict one another.  I will show that implicit in one’s understanding of chance are significant metaphysical and epistemological assumptions about the world.  Further, the seeming contradictions that Auster's texts exhibit result from overlooking the temporal structures of narratives (both autobiographical and fictional) and from assuming that there is a meaningful sense to the term “world” independent of our constitutive ascription of meaning to it.

Spaced Out: Signification and Space in Paul Auster'sThe New York Trilogy 

From the introduction: "By looking at how three spaces—pedestrian spaces, mapped spaces, and utopic spaces—function in the novels, we can see that thematically, a relationship is established between selfhood, space, and signification."