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Paraprosdokian: A Short Story Collection

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Paraprosdokian is a collection of stories about all different types of lives in Phoenix, AZ. There are several stories that work together, involving lonely teenagers at punk house shows, while the rest standalone: the eclectic interactions of a waiter at

Paraprosdokian is a collection of stories about all different types of lives in Phoenix, AZ. There are several stories that work together, involving lonely teenagers at punk house shows, while the rest standalone: the eclectic interactions of a waiter at a 24-hour diner, a blind fair ride operator with a propensity for accidental murder, a hapless son of a clumsy dental assistant, a literary scholar stuck in an addiction to both Kafka and pornography, a kid who learns that writing is not a formula, and a high school death that nobody cares about. Some pieces unfold parts of 21st century culture that have been knotted in ambivalence, like how men raised on pornography reconcile with intimacy, while others are as simple as trying to encapsulate the experience of growing up in what is often perceived as an artless suburbia. The project aims at mixing prose with photography to create, as Ben Lerner describes it, “a constellation of language and image”—a complete artistic product. Using the work of a local Arizona photographer, the collection complicates a reader’s elementary notion of a “picture book” by forcing the reader to view photographs beyond exposition or symbolism. The title of the collection comes from a term used in comedic rhetoric that refers to a figure of speech in which the latter part of a statement or phrase reorients one’s understanding of the whole. Under this definition, the collection seeks to amend its author and reader’s orientation to Phoenix in a quest for empathy, giving pathetic characters a chance to speak without ever sacrificing a touch of humorous joy.

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Date Created
2018-05

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(Re)memories of Slavery: An Examination of the Traumatic Past,Present, and Future Depicted in Toni Morrison’s Beloved

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The application of Toni Morrison’s Beloved as a lens through which one can analyze intergenerational trauma on an individual and communal level results in a blueprint towards a remedial process. The characters and their experiences in her novel are representative

The application of Toni Morrison’s Beloved as a lens through which one can analyze intergenerational trauma on an individual and communal level results in a blueprint towards a remedial process. The characters and their experiences in her novel are representative of a myriad of ways in which trauma is manifested. I have broken down the concept of intergenerational trauma into the idea that it can be seen as the state where one is both simultaneously “falling” and “fallen” at the same time. Used here, the term “falling” refers to the consistent, individual trauma that one is experiencing. On the other hand, the term “fallen” refers to the trauma that a community as a whole has experienced and internalized. This framework that I establish based off of Beloved is a launching point for the conversation surrounding the topic of remedial actions in relation to intergenerational trauma that resulted from slavery. Using it as a basis of knowledge allows one to truly gather the weight of the situation regarding trauma postbellum. Considering the current climate surrounding any meaningful dialogue, knowledge is one of the most important aspects. Along with the concepts of “falling”/”fallen,” I also coined the term productive memory, which refers to the act of confrontation as well as the remembering of intergenerational trauma. The use of productive memory is imperative in addressing the prior ideas presented regarding intergenerational trauma and the possible pathways to move forward.

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2021-05

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More than Tweedledee and Tweedledum: How the Characterization of Twins in Victorian Fiction Affects Representation in Contemporary Literature

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This literary analysis thesis determines the relationship between twin characterization in Victorian novels and contemporary literature. Using Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-glass as foundational works for twin characterization

This literary analysis thesis determines the relationship between twin characterization in Victorian novels and contemporary literature. Using Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-glass as foundational works for twin characterization with the Freudian definition of doubles as uncanny, this thesis analyzes the following twin tropes: the trickster twins, twins separated into binaries of “good” or “whole” and “damaged” or “evil,” male twins where one dies and the other marries the woman they both love, and female twins associated with shared supernatural appearance and abilities. These tropes are identified in Victorian works including Sarah Grand’s The Heavenly Twins and Wilkie Collins’ Poor Miss Finch, then demonstrated in contemporary sources including Ian McEwan’s novel Atonement, Kim Edwards’s novel The Memory-Keeper’s Daughter, J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, and Stanley Kubrick’s film The Shining. Ultimately, this thesis analyzes these tropes of twin characterization in 19th-century and contemporary literature from a variety of genres to demonstrate how the fin de siècle fears of cultural degradation, explored through duality using the vehicle of twin characters, remain as pervasive influences in today’s literature with similar concerns about individual identity.

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Date Created
2019-12

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From Madman to Patient: An Evolution in Depictions of Mental Illness in American Literature

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This thesis explores how the characterization of mentally ill characters evolves in literature within the United States in order to understand if and how modern notions of mental illness have impacted American writers’ fictional depictions of insanity. For this reason,

This thesis explores how the characterization of mentally ill characters evolves in literature within the United States in order to understand if and how modern notions of mental illness have impacted American writers’ fictional depictions of insanity. For this reason, this project compares and contrasts American fiction from the 19th century and 21st century. More specifically, the thesis explores the two centuries to trace evolutions in the use of gothic tropes, the progression of the theme of identity, relevant paratexts, and public conversations about fictional mental illness in modern texts—all of which send specific messages about mental health and impact the ways in which the reader understands the characters with mental illness. Ultimately, this thesis argues that the evolved use of tropes, the theme of identity, paratexts, and public conversations suggest there has been a shift from othering characters with mental illness towards accepting these characters and normalizing mental illness as an ordinary and familiar part of the human experience. In short, an increased understanding of mental health accompanies literary choices that create a more sympathetic representation of mental illness overall, even when fiction writers might still rely heavily on 19th-century tropes regarding madness.

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Date Created
2020-12

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Relays: Short Fiction Anthology

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A collection of chronological, interconnected short stories following the lives and changes of a family throughout the 20th century, connected through the generations by unifying objects carried in from story to story.

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Date Created
2019-05