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Vermillion Comedic Anthology

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The Vermillion Comedic Anthology comprises of three works of fiction, each around fifteen pages in length. The stories were written throughout the course of Hunter Vermillion’s residency in the English: Creative Writing (Fiction) program at Arizona State University. The first

The Vermillion Comedic Anthology comprises of three works of fiction, each around fifteen pages in length. The stories were written throughout the course of Hunter Vermillion’s residency in the English: Creative Writing (Fiction) program at Arizona State University. The first story Study-a-Broad, was written in his capstone fiction class, while the second story Herald’s Horticulture was the first piece Hunter wrote in his first fiction class.

The content of these stories is edgy, humorous, satirical (unlike this abstract), and generally absurd—all this while retaining elements of realism. “Realism” in the sense that any of these stories could occur; there are no supernatural elements contained. However, the actions and characters are so exaggerated that their purposes are to call attention to the character/societal flaws to which they reflect. The more edgy elements of these stories are not included for shock value; in fact, just the opposite. Their sparse use is purposeful to call extra attention to a certain scene or action. Often a story’s use of crude language is intended characterize these despicable actions as negative—to show that a boss should not be treating those around him like servants, for instance (as is the case in the story Fore!).

Disclaimer aside, the true intention of these stories is simple: to entertain. These are humorous pieces, aimed at poking fun at some typical college, workplace, and neighborhood drama. That’s not to say the pieces are devoid of any deeper meaning, because as described above, they seek to satirize overlooked bits of culture. However, the overarching goal of the Vermillion Comedic Anthology is to entertain readers and provide them much need escape from the stresses of the world.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Cruising the Gay Canon: Examining Cornerstones of Gay American Fiction from 1945 to 1969

Description

In the mid-twentieth century, a number of vital and quietly revolutionary gay male writers, including Christopher Isherwood, Gore Vidal, James Baldwin, and John Rechy, increasingly wrote about explicitly homosexual experiences and culture despite social and legal opposition. Both individually and

In the mid-twentieth century, a number of vital and quietly revolutionary gay male writers, including Christopher Isherwood, Gore Vidal, James Baldwin, and John Rechy, increasingly wrote about explicitly homosexual experiences and culture despite social and legal opposition. Both individually and collectively, these four authors ultimately merged disjointed identities to establish a tradition of visibility and resistance in the United States. Divided into four main sections, this thesis examines each author’s portrayal of homosexual experiences and culture through his distinct approach with a close literary analysis of various works. The first section considers Christopher Isherwood and how milieu affects his depictions of homosexuality in The Berlin Stories (1945), Down There on a Visit (1962), and A Single Man (1964). The second examines Gore Vidal’s The City and the Pillar (1948) and the relationship between homosexuality and masculinity. The third section looks at how James Baldwin writes about the intersection of homosexuality, race, nationality, and class in both Giovanni’s Room (1956) and Another Country (1962). Finally, the fourth section considers the emergence of queer communities built around resistance in John Rechy’s City of Night (1963). In addition to these literary texts, original reviews of each novel published in The New York Times capture their reception and acceptance into a mainstream American readership. Through their distinct approaches, these four authors collectively present a varied, although somewhat limited, look at the homosexual experience in postwar, pre-Stonewall America.

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2019-05

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Ekphrastic Science Fiction: Stories and Paintings Inspired by Art History

Description

The common human experiences depicted in classical paintings from art history are becoming less relatable due to the increasing influence and presence of technology in our day to day lives. This project contains two parts. The first part is a

The common human experiences depicted in classical paintings from art history are becoming less relatable due to the increasing influence and presence of technology in our day to day lives. This project contains two parts. The first part is a remixing of 3 classical works of art so that they include the presence of technology and communicate the possible evolution of human experiences as technology will be incorporated into them. The three remixed paintings are as follows: Eduoard Manet's Olympia, which showcases the human experience of relationships and gender dynamics; Edgar Degas' Dancers, which showcases the human experience of creation and learning; and Raphael's Madonna del Granduca, which showcases the human experiences of child-rearing, maternity, and childhood. The second part of the project utilizes the ekphrastic process, ekphrasis being the process of using the written word to give voice and explanation to a piece of visual art. In this part of the project, three short science-fiction stories were written, one in response to each of the classical paintings and its respective remix. The stories focus on themes of how technology will integrate itself into the common human experiences of parenting, entertainment, and intimate relationships, and the problems and solutions that may arise as a result. The stories are intended to be read alongside the paintings, however they can also be read separately without the context of the paintings from which they were drawn. Likewise, the paintings can be viewed separately from the short stories. The work is complimentary and builds on itself.

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Date Created
2018-05

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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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The Half-Open Pomegranate

Description

"The Half-Open Pomegranate" is a collection of four short stories based on Armenian characters balancing their cultural identity with their national identity in the Diaspora. The image of the half-open pomegranate is a symbol of what Armenia has become. The

"The Half-Open Pomegranate" is a collection of four short stories based on Armenian characters balancing their cultural identity with their national identity in the Diaspora. The image of the half-open pomegranate is a symbol of what Armenia has become. The pomegranate, which is the motherland, was ripped open during the Genocide of 1915. Her seeds have scattered all over the globe, sprouting new communities which are still thriving to this day. As William Saroyan once said, "For when two [Armenians] meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a new Armenia." The titles of my stories are the names of the protagonists, or "seeds" of the pomegranate. My first story, "Dr. Balian," is written about a thirty-something-year-old physician who struggles with doing what is best for herself, even if it means being the subject of hearsay. "Razmik" is a story about a teenage boy who copes with grief-related anxiety, and learns the importance of his place in the Diaspora. "Sarkis" is written from the perspective of a Vietnam veteran whose drunken perspective about regret and forgiveness touches lightly on the idea of reconciliation between the Armenians and the Turks. My last story "Noor" is written from the perspective of a young girl who struggles upholding the demands of her culture while pursuing her dream of becoming a pilot, an unconventional path for an Armenian female. Each of these stories embodies the strength of the Armenian people, who are more than just victims of Genocide. They are fruitful, resilient, and indestructible.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Playing the Changes: Four Stories of Music, Death, and the Unknown

Description

There are no words for the trauma of death when it strikes unexpectedly. What to say when a mother dies in childbirth? When a father figure contracts an unknown disease for no apparent cause? When a beloved pet, long mourned,

There are no words for the trauma of death when it strikes unexpectedly. What to say when a mother dies in childbirth? When a father figure contracts an unknown disease for no apparent cause? When a beloved pet, long mourned, may still be alive and hidden by estranged family? Generations may pass, and children may grow up, but the pain leaves marks that echo across time and the other borders we construct between our past and present. We may find strength on solitude, or prayer, or the words of a song written by someone else. In these four stories, spanning almost half a century, the marks of death and attempts to soothe or hide them are everywhere. Children on the cusp of adulthood grapple with the lives and the lies of their parents. Musicians examine the relationship of their music to the world. Legends and myths lurk in the shadows, tempting with false hope and rationalizing the unexplainable.
In “Playing the Changes,” we meet two men stranded in a small desert town in 1972, a time when their attraction to each other is still dangerous. Nile Walker is a jazz musician, running from a spurned lover and the law. Benji Garza is a once-devout Catholic, fixing cars and caring for his orphaned nephew, Hector. Walker and Garza’s affair will spin both lives and their heredity into sweeping tragedies that characters battle with lust and melody. Walker has a son he never meets, a drifter who finds connection with another lost soul at an airport in “La Petite Mort.” Hector is forced into early adulthood in “The Words,” when his ailing uncle’s health fails due to a mysterious disease not yet called AIDS. Later Tre—a young man struggling with the weight of his own lineage—meets him in “PHX.” These stories examine questions of death’s causes and its myriad effects, and offer this solution: Knowing that we cannot know everything, and living, loving, and singing anyway.

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Date Created
2016-05

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Long Exhalations

Description

This creative project consists of three short stories with a common theme of release, letting go, and exhalation. Nymphal Instar is a story about Tommy, a young boy, and his encounter with his uncle, a troubled man who has just

This creative project consists of three short stories with a common theme of release, letting go, and exhalation. Nymphal Instar is a story about Tommy, a young boy, and his encounter with his uncle, a troubled man who has just returned from war. The story explores the idea of growth and maturation, and the ability to move past and let go of trauma. A Cat Goes Away is about a young man, Richard, who is required to simultaneously deal with the loss of his cat and the suicide attempts of his sister. He also runs into his sister's ex-husband and is forced to deal with him. The story explores the difficulty in recognizing one's own emotions and the importance of knowing the difference between what one can change and what one cannot. Since Diagnosis is a story about Kate, a woman who has just been diagnosed with cancer and who is unable to tell her loved ones. The story explores acceptance and the idea that letting go can allow one to live more fully. Though the three stories are disparate in their characters and events, they share a commonality in their endings and in the final realizations of the characters. There is a focus on the importance of breath and breathing, and the essentiality of acceptance and release.

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Date Created
2016-05

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The Problem of Hope: Literary Tragedy in Mid-Twentieth Century Fiction

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"The Problem of Hope: Literary Tragedy in Mid-Twentieth Century American Fiction" examines Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, and Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar through the lens of tragedy. This thesis delves into how conflicts between

"The Problem of Hope: Literary Tragedy in Mid-Twentieth Century American Fiction" examines Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, and Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar through the lens of tragedy. This thesis delves into how conflicts between internal and external identities can create a tragic individual, what kinds of success count toward achievement of the "American Dream," and whether the tragic "common man" is the socially normative one or the socially disenfranchised one. It raises a three-dimensional theoretical approach to American tragedy and, most importantly, considers the significance of tragic hope for American literature. This paper questions the construction of American identities across class, race, and gender according to social scripts. It seeks to uncover what forces these scripts exert on American cultural myths and rereads those myths through tragedy to explore Miller's idea of a noble common man. By moving from Miller to Ellison to Plath, this thesis traces the undercurrents of tragedy through some of the most identity-focused novels of mid-twentieth century American fiction to see how the overarching American narrative changed from 1940 to 1969 as the US underwent significant social changes domestically and image changes abroad. Ultimately, this paper concludes that tragedy in mid-twentieth century American fiction points toward a new idea of American success as a success that occurs beyond social scripts.

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Date Created
2016-05

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Global Young Adult Literature in the Classroom: The Benefits of Introducing Global Texts to High School Students

Description

The changing student demographics of schools in the US offer opportunities to introduce new curriculum. Schools are seeing an increase in the diversity within classrooms, including an increase in the amount of students from other countries. This project discusses the

The changing student demographics of schools in the US offer opportunities to introduce new curriculum. Schools are seeing an increase in the diversity within classrooms, including an increase in the amount of students from other countries. This project discusses the potential benefits of introducing four specific Global Young Adult novels to high school classrooms in hopes of achieving a more culturally-responsive classroom. These novels include: Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Now Is the Time for Running by Michael Williams, Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman, and The Red Umbrella by Christina Gonzalez. As there are many arguments for Global YA Literature, this project focuses on the themes of the novels and the implications for the classroom. From a thematic approach, these four novels offer insight into the fluid nature of culture, as the characters must balance different identities as they move around the world. These themes can be used to create dialogue between students on cultural identity and how cultural surroundings affect their identities. These novels can also give students a more empathetic approach as they encounter cultural differences, creating a better community within the classroom.

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2015-12