Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.
Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.
Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.
Author ORCID Identifier
Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
American Literature | Comparative Literature | Film and Media Studies | Italian Literature | Performance Studies | Slavic Languages and Societies
My dissertation examines literary accounts of failure and failed performance largely in the context of the advent of modernity. I read the works of John Williams, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Bruno Jasieński as case studies to discuss a non-redemptive kind of failure, one where the narrative does not suggest failing as a step to eventual success. Never-lasting Effectsis an attempt to delineate the productive side of failure within a non-future-oriented approach. In parallel with a reading of the above authors, I review the existing narratives about failure, in the main offered by scholars and critics who see it either as a nihilist, apolitical approach or, in a more hopeful way, as a tool of subversion and revolutionary practice under the conditions of late capitalism. My dissertation carves out a theoretical position outside of either of these opposed camps in what appears to be a nascent field of failure studies. Taking my methodology from performance studies and its emphasis on ephemerality, I examine failure synchronically, as it happens in its present. As I argue, there are important political effects produced by failure that cannot continue into the utopian future. My discussions of Williams, Pasolini, and Jasieński offer a new methodology of reading failure that helps us examine and understand those effects better.
Rowinski, Krzysztof W., "Never-lasting Effects: John Williams, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Bruno Jasieński, and Non-redemptive Failure" (2021). Doctoral Dissertations. 2325.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.