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The Gnostic Drive for Narration in the Fiction of E. L. Doctorow
International Journal of Literature and Arts
Volume 8, Issue 6, November 2020, Pages: 316-319
Received: Oct. 26, 2020; Accepted: Nov. 12, 2020; Published: Nov. 19, 2020
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Bi Jiancheng, School of International Relations, Sichuan International Studies University, Chongqing, China
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As a top-ranking novelist in contemporary America, E. L. Doctorow is distinguished at his literary innovation of juxtaposing historical and imaginative texts, and is acknowledged as a “postmodern author”. However,after surveying his creative doctrines and artistic concept, we may perceive a kind of spiritual ring that is out of tune with postmodern literature, but quite compatible with Gnostic principles. The Gnosticism emphasizes the “intuitive process of knowing” which can be reflected in Doctorow’s novelistic creation. This study intends to prove that in Doctorow’s fiction there exists an ongoing drive to relate the story which stems from the author’s Gnostic consciousness; the power of Doctorow’s narrative right derives from human desire to reestablish the lost spiritual connection with other human beings by means of mysterious signs and symbols of language. The endeavor to interpret Doctorow’s literary creation with the help of Gnostic spirits and attitudes may bring dynamics to Doctorow criticism, inspire the appreciation of Doctorow’s works, and attempt to redress his stereotypical title as a “postmodern writer”.
Doctorow’s Fiction, Gnosticism, Gnostic Narration, Postmodern Context
To cite this article
Bi Jiancheng, The Gnostic Drive for Narration in the Fiction of E. L. Doctorow, International Journal of Literature and Arts. Vol. 8, No. 6, 2020, pp. 316-319. doi: 10.11648/j.ijla.20200806.12
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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