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Discourse, diegesis and the real: An integrative theory of meaning

Douglas, Ian Stuart (1986) Discourse, diegesis and the real: An integrative theory of meaning. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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If there is one time and place to which I can allocate the origins of the concerns of this dissertation, it is the occurrence of a dialogue at Murdoch University between one of my students and myself over Saussure's definition of a signified as a concept. I chose an example from the medium film, specifically Andy Warhol's eight-hour uninter­rupted shot of the Empire State Building in New York. (I did not claim to have seen it: conceptual art is always more fun to hear about than to experience.) The signified, at least the denotative signified, of this shot was, I argued, of the concept of the Empire State Building. Had I seen the film I might never have said this, but even so my ration­alization of this view fell dead upon my own ears: of course the denot­ative signified of this shot was the accursed building itself, although connotatively it may, as the title suggests, hold all sorts of meanings about American imperialism and hubris in constructing such a monument to 'manifest destiny.' ...

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Human Communication
Notes: This thesis was presented for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of Murdoch University (posthumously) on behalf of Ian Stuart Douglas, B.A. (Hons.) W. Aust. This thesis presents Mr. Ian Douglas' own account of research undertaken from 1977 to 1983 and contains, as its main content, work which has not previously been submitted for a degree at any University. Note to the family: If you would like to make this thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Ruthrof, Horst
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