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On Being: Multidimensional Experiences of the Self in Landscapes and Dreamscapes

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This thesis is an experiment in confessional academic writing, an attempt to read two surrealist texts closely and critically while simultaneously employing creative, lyrical prose and narration. The thesis, in both style and content, has bridged the realms of academic

This thesis is an experiment in confessional academic writing, an attempt to read two surrealist texts closely and critically while simultaneously employing creative, lyrical prose and narration. The thesis, in both style and content, has bridged the realms of academic and creative writing in order to fully embody the concepts explored within: abstractions of the self, how abstracted selves interact with space, and how such abstractions lead to an ever-evolving and contactable conceptualization of personhood. Further, the thesis explores and reaches for a submergence of selves into space and other abstracted selves while grappling with and resisting against the occasional failure of language and spatial experience, which leads to a detrimental distance between the self and its experience in the world. Surrealism's advocacy for blind submission, for indulging the dream and embracing dream-like modes of appearance, and for locating an unconscious and automatic medium for expression (as seen in André Breton's first Surrealist Manifesto in 1924 and his 1928 novel Nadja) licenses an understanding of being that allows for multidimensional embodiment through one's presence and absence and through indistinctions between the self and space. The thesis recognizes and works through potentially problematic power dynamics within such notions of possession and dispossession while articulating a full faithfulness in the imagination's ability to uncover expansive personhood and the ways this kind of personhood is more wholly enabled to authentically and productively connect the disparity between persons, space, language, and reality. While analytical and textually supported, and accompanied by a photo essay that explores the aforementioned concepts visually, this thesis indulges in poetic impulses and offers a critical and personal investigation on being which allows us to consider ourselves as things that are endlessly becoming.

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2018-05

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A Song of Richard III and Feudalist Values

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This paper focuses on feudalist structure and values within this system in George R. R. Martin's fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire and Shakespeare's play King Richard the Third. The paper is structured into three arguments that

This paper focuses on feudalist structure and values within this system in George R. R. Martin's fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire and Shakespeare's play King Richard the Third. The paper is structured into three arguments that focus on different characters from each work. The first argument is focused on Tyrion Lannister and Richard III's deformity, and how they violate feudalist values. This argument ultimately comes to the discussion of whether or not these characters are monstrous and by what values. The second argument is focused on Daenerys Targaryen and Margaret, discussing why both authors give these women a supernatural power. The authors give women these powers because they believe that women should have power. Martin argues that women need to remake the structure, while Shakespeare believes women can change their place in the structure through collective action. The last argument focuses on Petyr Baelish and Richard III, and how they both represent a chaos attacking feudalism. Petyr is a chaos that comes outside the system, exploiting the values of the system, while Richard is a chaos within the system because he violates feudal values, while trying to hold positions where he needs to embody feudalist value. The authors come to different conclusions of what is trying to take down feudalist structure and how this could be fixed. Martin finds feudalism cannot be fixed and that other systems are not much better because they still create violence. Shakespeare comes to the conclusion that feudalism cannot be fixed because people continue to violate its values, so a new system must be put in place.

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2015-05