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  • Confirmation of Candidature - Candidate : Matthew Somerville

Confirmation of Candidature - Candidate : Matthew Somerville

A Cognitive Literary Exploration of the Pseudocouple Structure as a Narrative Model for Simulating and Examining the Hidden Phenomenology of Human Cognition
29 MAY 2024
11.00 AM - 1.00 PM
Online via Zoom

My aim is to deploy the pseudocouple structure beyond the periphery of Beckettian studies, in accordance with Marco Bernini's (2021) demonstration of the potential for literary modelling to reveal cognitive patterns and functionality that sit beyond the reach of scientific observation or remain otherwise phenomenologically hidden. The research is focused upon a subset of what I term `vagabond narratives,' wherein the pseudocouple structure takes the form of an observer-storyteller who accompanies a dreamer or restless vagabond type wandering aimlessly in unfamiliar territory (physical and psychological) without purpose or objective. By setting bodies free to wander in liminal spaces I hope to liberate Beckett's innovative character structure from ontological scepticism and scholarship that has largely interpreted Beckett's mis-aligned dyads through an internalist perspective of cognition. More than merely offering a new approach to the old problem of Cartesian dualism, the pseudocouple structure offers a means of operating across the divide and reconciling the tripartite relationship between existential, reflective, and semiotic ontologies. By employing interdisciplinary approaches from existential and hermeneutic phenomenology, narratology and cognitive psychology to philosophical pragmatism, this research aims to bridge the gap between artistic representation and scientific inquiry, thus providing a richer understanding of human cognition through the lens of Beckett's innovative character structure.

For more information, please contact the Graduate Research School.