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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Degree Discipline: English
 Degree Level: Doctoral
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Jinxed

Jinxed

Date: August 2003
Creator: Davis, Richard
Description: My dissertation, Jinxed, developed out of my interest in the movement between the comic and the tragic by tracing the evolution of a romantic relationship. While employing biblical, classical, literary, and pop-cultural traditions, my manuscript has its most clear affinities with Renaissance poetry that navigates between the erotic and the spiritual. The sequence of poems recreates the character of Petrarch's Laura in the Little Redhead Girl, Charlie Brown's first love. My Laura, however, is a feisty secular Irish woman who simultaneously frustrates and attracts a religious narrator. To explore the multifaceted nature of their love, I employ a variety of poetic techniques, such as the repetition inherent in the villanelle to express the powerlessness of the narrator as he begins to fall in love. In "To a Young Philosopher," a sestina, one of the repeated words ("ephemeral") triggers a philosophical discussion that is a proposal of marriage. The manuscript also uses other forms such as the sonnet, Spenserian stanza, terza rima, couplets, and blank verse. Narratively, it ends with Charlie Brown after he has missed kicking Lucy's football, falling to earth literally and symbolically. Poems in the manuscript have appeared in journals such as The Wallace Stevens Journal, Talking River ...
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John Graves and the Pastoral Tradition

John Graves and the Pastoral Tradition

Date: August 2001
Creator: Anderson, David Roy
Description: John Graves's creative non-fiction has earned him respect in Texas letters as a seminal writer but scarce critical commentary of his work outside the region. Ecological criticism examines how language, culture and the land interact, providing a context in which to discuss Graves in relation to the southwestern literary tradition of J. Frank Dobie, Walter P. Webb, and Roy Bedichek, to southern pastoral in the Virgilian mode, and to American nature writing. Graves's rhetorical strategies, including his appropriation of form, his non-polemical voice, his experimentation with narrative persona, and his utilization of traditional tropes of metaphor, metonymy, and irony, establish him as a conservative and Romantic writer of place concerned with the friction between traditional agrarian values and the demands of late-twentieth-century urban/technological existence. Sequentially, Graves's three main booksGoodbye to a River (1960), Hard Scrabble (1974), and From a Limestone Ledge (1980)represent a movement from the pastoral mode of the outward journey and return to the more domestic world of georgic, from the mode of leisure and contemplation to the demands and rewards of hard work and ownership. As such they represent not only progression or maturation in the arc of the narrator's life but a desire to reconcile ideological ...
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Joy Harjo's Poetics of Transformation

Joy Harjo's Poetics of Transformation

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Date: December 2003
Creator: Rose-Vails, Shannon
Description: For Muscogee Creek poet Joy Harjo, poetry is a real world force that can empower the reader by utilizing mythic memory, recovery of history, and a spiral journey to regain communal identity. Her poetic career transforms from early lyric poems to a hybridized form of prosody, prose, and myth to accommodate and to reflect Harjo's concerns as they progress from personal, to tribal, and then to global. She often employs a witnessing strategy to combat the trauma caused by racism in order to create the possibility for renewal and healing. Furthermore, Harjo's poetry combats forces that seek to define Native American existence negatively. To date, Harjo's poetic works create a myth that will refocus humanity's attention on the way in which historical meaning is produced and the way difference is encountered. In an effort to revise the dominant stories told about Indians, Harjo privileges the idea that Native Americans are present and human, and it is this sense of humanity that pervades her poetry. Sequentially, Joy Harjo's volumes of poetry-She Had Some Horses (1983), In Mad Love and War (1990), and The Woman Who Fell from the Sky (1994)-create a regenerative cycle that combats the effects of oppressive history and ...
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Laying the foundation for successful non-academic writing: Professional communication principles in the K-5 curricula of the McKinney Independent School District.

Laying the foundation for successful non-academic writing: Professional communication principles in the K-5 curricula of the McKinney Independent School District.

Date: December 2009
Creator: Treviño, Marlea
Description: Traditionally, K-5 students' writing has had a primarily academic aim-to help students master concepts and express themselves. Even if students take a professional writing course later, they typically do not have the opportunity to practice-over the long period of time mastery requires-the non-academic writing skills they will be required to use as part of their jobs and in their civic life. Based on a limited K-5 study, Texas' McKinney Independent School District is doing a good job of preparing students at the elementary-school level in the areas of collaboration and presentation. A fair job of helping elementary-school students understand the communication situation, define audience, clarify purpose, gather and evaluate resources, and test usability. [And] a poor job of helping elementary-school students with analysis and organization. With their teachers' help, K-5 students eventually grasp the communication situation and can broadly identify their audience and purpose, but they do not appear to select words, format, communication style, or design based on that audience and purpose. Their writer-based focus affects their presentations as well, although they do present frequently. If teachers routinely incorporated audience and purpose considerations into every aspect of communication assignments (format, communication style, design), students would be better prepared for ...
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Let His Conscience be her Guide: Ethical Self-Fashionings of Woman in Early-Modern Drama

Let His Conscience be her Guide: Ethical Self-Fashionings of Woman in Early-Modern Drama

Date: August 2003
Creator: Penque, Ruth Ida
Description: Female characters in early-modern drama, even when following the dictates of conscience, appear inextricably bound to patriarchal expectations. This paradoxical situation is explained by two elements that have affected the Renaissance playwright's depiction of woman as moral agent. First, the playwright's education would have included a traditional body of philosophical opinion regarding female intellectual and moral capacities that would have tried to explain rationally the necessity of woman's second-class status. However, by its nature, this body of information is filled with contradiction. Second, the playwright's education would have also included learning to use the rhetorical trope et utramque partem, that is arguing a position from all sides. Learning to use this trope would place the early-modern dramatist in the position of interrogating the contradictory notions of woman contained in the traditional sources. Six dramas covering over a sixty-year period from the mid-sixteenth to the early seventeenth centuries suggest that regardless of the type of work, comedy or tragedy, female characters are shown as adults seeking recognition as autonomous moral beings while living in a culture that works to maintain their dependent status. These works include an early comedy Ralph Roister Doister, a domestic tragedy A Woman Killed With Kindness, a ...
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Letters from Jack and Other Cadavers

Letters from Jack and Other Cadavers

Date: May 2010
Creator: Leis, Aaron
Description: My dissertation, Letters from Jack and Other Cadavers, developed out of my interest in using persona, narrative forms, and historical details collected through thorough research to transform personal experience and emotions in my poems. The central series of poems, "Letters from Jack," is written in the voice of Jack the Ripper and set up as a series of poems-as-letters to the police who chased him. The Ripper's sense of self and his motivations are troubled by his search for a muse as the poems become love poems, contrasting the brutality of the historical murders and the atmosphere of late 19th century London with a charismatic speaker not unlike those of Browning's Dramatic Monologues. The dissertation's preface further explores my desire for a level of personal removal while crafting poems in order to temper sentimentality. Drawing on Wallace Stevens's notion that "Sentimentality is failed emotion" and Tony Hoagland's assessment that fear of sentimentality can turn young poets away from narrative forms, I examine my own poems along with those of Scott Cairns, Tim Seibles, and Albert Goldbarth to derive conclusions on the benefits distance, persona, narrative, and detail to downplay excessive emotion and the intrusion of the personal. Poems from the ...
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The Lexicographer's Daughter: A Memoir

The Lexicographer's Daughter: A Memoir

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Date: May 2011
Creator: Lovell, Bonnie Alice
Description: This creative nonfiction dissertation is a memoir of the author's search for the somewhat mysterious hidden past of her father, the lexicographer Charles J. Lovell, who died in 1960, when the author was nine. Her father's early death left the author with many unanswered questions about his past and his family and so she undertakes a search to answer, if possible, some of those questions. Her search takes her to Portland, Maine; New Bedford, Massachusetts; and Pasadena, California, where she tries to discover the facts and uncover the forces that shaped her father's life. Along the way, she realizes how profoundly his death affected and shaped her own life, contributing to the theme of loss that pervades the memoir. In addition, she begins to realize how much her mother, Dixie Hefley Lovell, whose significance she previously overlooked, shaped her life. Ultimately, she comes to understand and accept that some of her questions are unanswerable.
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Libertines Real and Fictional in Rochester, Shadwell, Wycherley, and Boswell

Libertines Real and Fictional in Rochester, Shadwell, Wycherley, and Boswell

Date: May 2008
Creator: Smith, Victoria
Description: Libertines Real and Fictional in Rochester, Shadwell, Wycherley, and Boswell examines the Restoration and eighteenth-century libertine figure as it appears in John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester's Satyr against Mankind, "The Maim'd Debauchee," and "Upon His Drinking a Bowl," Thomas Shadwell's The Libertine, William Wycherley's The Country Wife, and James Boswell's London Journal, 1762-1763. I argue that the limitations and self-contradictions of standard definitions of libertinism and the ways in which libertine protagonists and libertinism in general function as critiques of libertinism. Moreover, libertine protagonists and poetic personae reinterpret libertinism to accommodate their personal agendas and in doing so, satirize the idea of libertinism itself and identify the problematization of "libertinism" as a category of gender and social identity. That is, these libertines misinterpret-often deliberately-Hobbes to justify their opposition and refusal to obey social institutions-e.g., eventually marrying and engaging in a monogamous relationship with one's wife-as well as their endorsement of obedience to nature or sense, which can include embracing a libertine lifestyle in which one engages in sexual encounters with multiple partners, refuses marriage, and questions the existence of God or at least distrusts any sort of organized religion. Since any attempts to define the word "libertinism"-or at least ...
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The Little Weird: Self and Consciousness in Contemporary, Small-press, Speculative Fiction

The Little Weird: Self and Consciousness in Contemporary, Small-press, Speculative Fiction

Date: May 2007
Creator: Bradley, Darin Colbert
Description: This dissertation explores how contemporary, small-press, speculative fiction deviates from other genres in depicting the processes of consciousness in narrative. I study how the confluence of contemporary cognitive theory and experimental, small-press, speculative fiction has produced a new narrative mode, one wherein literature portrays not the product of consciousness but its process instead. Unlike authors who worked previously in the stream-of-consciousness or interior monologue modes, writers in this new narrative mode (which this dissertation refers to as "the little weird") use the techniques of recursion, narratological anachrony, and Ulric Neisser's "ecological self" to avoid the constraints of textual linearity that have historically prevented other literary modes from accurately portraying the operations of "self." Extrapolating from Mieke Bal's seminal theory of narratology; Tzvetan Todorov's theory of the fantastic; Daniel C. Dennett's theories of consciousness; and the works of Darko Suvin, Robert Scholes, Jean Baudrillard, and others, I create a new mode not for classifying categories of speculative fiction, but for re-envisioning those already in use. This study, which concentrates on the work of progressive, small-press, speculative writers such as Kelly Link, Forrest Aguirre, George Saunders, Jeffrey Ford, China Miéville, and many others, explores new ideas about narrative "coherence" from the points ...
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Love Poem with Exiles

Love Poem with Exiles

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Quintanilla, Octavio
Description: Love Poem with Exiles is a collection of poems with a critical preface. The poems are varied in terms of subject matter and form. In the critical preface, I discuss my relationship with poetry as well as the idea that we inherit poems, and that if we are inspired by them, we can transform them into something new.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries