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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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2018-05

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Identifying with Fictional Characters

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The study of literature, which has traditionally been the work of the humanities, has seemingly opened up to biology in recent years through an infusion of cognitive science and evolutionary psychology. This essay examines two perspectives on the potential for

The study of literature, which has traditionally been the work of the humanities, has seemingly opened up to biology in recent years through an infusion of cognitive science and evolutionary psychology. This essay examines two perspectives on the potential for reader/character identification, one perspective from cognitive/evolutionary studies, and the other from the humanities. Building on both perspectives, I propose my own notion of reader/character identification called immersive identification. I argue that fiction is especially suited to prompt readers to identify with fictional characters in an immersive way. Then, I demonstrate how different cognitive/evolutionary perspectives of fiction can accommodate my notion of immersive identification. Finally, I defend my account of immersive identification against a counterexample.

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Date Created
2014-05

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Do Not Fear The Fictions

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The Paradox of Fiction can be understood as the acceptance of three plausible but inconsistent claims: Claim 1. We are genuinely moved by fiction Claim 2. We know that what is portrayed by fiction is not actual Claim 3. We

The Paradox of Fiction can be understood as the acceptance of three plausible but inconsistent claims: Claim 1. We are genuinely moved by fiction Claim 2. We know that what is portrayed by fiction is not actual Claim 3. We are only genuinely moved by what we believe is actual. Taken individually, we intuitively accept each of the claims, however, they form a contradiction when taken together. The issue at hand is although we observe many instances of fiction moving a spectator/reader to tears, we know that the grief we observe does not reference an existent entity. How can we grieve at the death of Mercutio in "Romeo and Juliet" when Mercutio never existed let alone died? How can we fear a monster we know exists only in the world of a film? Many theories have been proposed to dissolve this paradox, and I focus on the ones that approach the puzzle by rejecting one of the above three claims. I examine some of these theories and explain why they fail to solve the paradox, and in doing so I demonstrate that the Make-Believe Theory succeeds where the others failed. Make-Believe Theory rejects Claim 1 and I shall prove that although unintuitive, we are completely justified in claiming that we are not genuinely moved by fiction. Instead, when we are moved by fictions, we are moved in a similar way to how a child is moved in a game of make-believe.

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Date Created
2015-05

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Empty Horizons

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Abstract "Empty Horizons": A Creative Writing Piece Max Harmon "Empty Horizons" is a creative writing piece composed of two different short stories sharing a common narrator. The first story "Can you dig it?" details a trip the narrator takes to

Abstract "Empty Horizons": A Creative Writing Piece Max Harmon "Empty Horizons" is a creative writing piece composed of two different short stories sharing a common narrator. The first story "Can you dig it?" details a trip the narrator takes to South Dakota to go hunting shortly before starting college. On the trip the narrator contemplates certain aspects of his life and the events of the story serve as a vehicle to explore the narrator's mindset as an eighteen year old about to start a new phase in his life. The second story "Toads, Sharks and Beautiful Encounters with Uncertainty" takes place during the summer before the narrator begins his last semester in college as he attends the funeral of his recently deceased grandmother in Hawaii. During the trip to Hawaii, the narrator meets a girl his age and they are able to bond with each other over feelings of loss and uncertainty. In this story the narrator explores his feelings about life with college graduation on the horizon and comes to terms with some of the anxieties that have been plaguing him since the start of college. By detailing these two distinct and important time periods in the narrator's life the reader is able to gain a sense of understanding in regards to the narrator's own process of beginning life as an adult.

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Date Created
2014-12

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Building an Identity: Exploring the Relationship between Colonial and Georgian Architecture to Colonial Culture in Old Virginia in the Seventeenth Century to Eighteenth Century

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The aim of this thesis is to explore the relationship between architecture and history in Virginia from 1607 to the eve of the American Revolution to create a complete historical narrative. The interdependency of history and architecture creates culturally important

The aim of this thesis is to explore the relationship between architecture and history in Virginia from 1607 to the eve of the American Revolution to create a complete historical narrative. The interdependency of history and architecture creates culturally important pieces and projects the colonist's need to connect to the past as well as their innovations in their own cultural exploration. The thesis examines the living conditions of the colonists that formed Jamestown, and describes the architectural achievements and the historical events that were taking place at the time. After Jamestown, the paper moves on to the innovations of early Virginian architecture from Colonial architecture to Georgian architecture found in Williamsburg. Conclusively, the thesis presents a historical narrative on how architecture displays a collection of ideals from the Virginian colonists at the time. The external display of architecture parallels the events as well as the economic conditions of Virginia, creating a social dialogue between the gentry and the common class in the colony of Virginia.

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Date Created
2015-05