Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
English, General Literature, and Rhetoric
...Thus Hawkes has dramatized and stressed the sexual relationships between men and women. In so doing he clearly diverges from the "traditional" treatment accorded the theme of love in American fiction. Hawkes's fiction does not ignore sexuality or stigmatize it; his novels dwell on it. Eros -- a love relationship based on sexuality -- is the most satisfying relationship available to two human beings dwelling in a stark "lunar landscape.” And though it is clear that Hawkes holds no special affection for the institution of marriage -- Sonny and Kate are unmarried, and Cyril and Fiona love in spite of the institution -- he by no means despairs of viable heterosexual love relationships. Hawkes is a "singer of love" whose succeeding novels ever more clearly underscore the importance of sexuality as a means of surviving in a sterile world. I hope that by focusing on the theme of love, this important emerging American author will be more accessible to readers. His technical skill and insistence upon the harsher aspects of life present challenging difficulties, but they are challenges well worth accepting.
Blake, Donald David, ""Singer of Love" : the fiction of John Hawkes" (1974). Graduate Dissertations and Theses. 219.