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 Degree Discipline: English
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
The Useful Arts

The Useful Arts

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Date: August 2012
Creator: Hindman, Jessica
Description: This creative nonfiction dissertation is a series of braided narratives that chronicle the author's career as a trombonist in the John Smith Ensemble. As an amateur trombonist, the author is shocked to be hired as a professional musician for an orchestra that plays on PBS and at Carnegie Hall. She quickly realizes, however, that the job requires her to play the trombone quietly in front of an unplugged microphone while a CD recording of another, more talented trombonist is blasted out toward an unknowing audience. The job also requires the author to tour around America. The scenes of from this tour are braided with scenes wherein she reflects on her life as a professional fake musician and her past failed attempts at getting a job.
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Maelstrom: the Last Coyote Tale

Maelstrom: the Last Coyote Tale

Date: December 1997
Creator: Claiborne, J. Taylor (John Taylor)
Description: It is a dark future, where corporations have taken the place of governmental bodies, and Earth is a myth, forgotten in the reconstruction after the Second Dark Age. One man--a clone--investigates a murder [that] leads him deep into a spirit quest of his own that will answer the questions of Man's heritage as well as his own identity. This story is a science fiction, but it is similar in structure to a Coyote tale and involves quite a bit of Navajo mythology. The use of Native American imagery is not an attempt to capitalize on another culture, but rather to study the culture and use allegorical elements that transcend many cultures. It must also be noted that non-Native American writers wrote all texts available on the subject. This fact should be taken into consideration by the reader.
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The Rhetoric of Posthumanism in Four Twentieth-Century International Novels

The Rhetoric of Posthumanism in Four Twentieth-Century International Novels

Date: August 1998
Creator: Lin, Lidan
Description: The dissertation traces the trope of the incomplete character in four twentieth-century cosmopolitan novels that reflect European colonialism in a global context. I argue that, by creating characters sharply aware of the insufficiency of the Self and thus constantly seeking the constitutive participation of the Other, the four authors E. M. Forster, Samuel Beckett, J. M. Coetzee, and Congwen Shen all dramatize the incomplete character as an agent of postcolonial resistance to Western humanism that, tending to enforce the divide between the Self and the Other, provided the epistemological basis for the emergence of European colonialism. For example, Fielding's good-willed aspiration to forge cross-cultural friendship in A Passage to India; Murphy's dogged search for recognition of his Irish identity in Murphy; Susan's unfailing compassion to restore Friday's lost speech in Foe; and Changshun Teng, the Chinese orange-grower's warm-hearted generosity toward his customers in Long River--all these textual occasions dramatize the incomplete character's anxiety over the Other's rejection that will impair the fullness of his or her being, rendering it solitary and empty. I relate this anxiety to the theory of "posthumanism" advanced by such thinkers as Marx, Bakhtin, Sartre, and Lacan; in their texts the humanist view of the individual ...
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The Matters of Troy and Thebes and Their Role in a Critique of Courtly Life in Chaucer and the Gawain-Poet

The Matters of Troy and Thebes and Their Role in a Critique of Courtly Life in Chaucer and the Gawain-Poet

Date: May 1999
Creator: Jones, Oliver M.
Description: Both Chaucer and the Gawain-poet use the Matters of Troy and Thebes as material for a critique of courtly life, applying these literary matters to the events and actions in and around Ricardian England. They use these classical matters to express concerns about the effectiveness of the court of Richard II. Chaucer uses his earlier works as a testing ground to develop his views about the value of duty over courtly pursuits, ideas discussed more completely in Troilus and Criseyde. The Gawain-poet uses the Matter of Troy coupled with the court of King Arthur to engage in a critique of courtly concerns. The critiques presented by both poets show a tendency toward duty over courtly concerns.
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Moments: a Diary

Moments: a Diary

Date: May 1998
Creator: Craig, Mendy J. (Mendy Jeneen)
Description: In my preface I have tried to show what a diary is, why they might be of interest to others, why I think they are valid and should be considered as such. I have defended my diary as being worthy material for a thesis, or myself as worthy of being called a writer. (Traditionally, writing in a diary doesn't qualify one as being a writer, even though you might write millions of pages and spend your entire lives doing it.) Edited selections of my diary make up the body of the thesis. These selections are divided into four main sections which suggested themselves during editing. To summarize the diary as a whole, I would say it's about human relationships.
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A Reading of Shakespeare's Problem Plays into History: A New Historicist Interpretation of Social Crisis and Sexual Politics in Troilus and Cressida and Measure for Measure

A Reading of Shakespeare's Problem Plays into History: A New Historicist Interpretation of Social Crisis and Sexual Politics in Troilus and Cressida and Measure for Measure

Date: December 1998
Creator: Jin, Kwang Hyun
Description: This study is aimed to read Shakespeare's problem comedies, Troilus and Cressida and Measure for Measure into the historical and cultural context of dynamically-changing English Renaissance society at the turn of the sixteenth century. In the historical context of emerging capitalism, growing economic crisis, reformed theology, changing social hierarchy, and increasing sexual control, this study investigates the nature of complicated moral problems that the plays consistently present. The primary argument is that the serious and dark picture of human dilemma is attributed not to Shakespeare's private imagination, but to social, political, economic, and religious crises in early modern England.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Diane Di Prima: The Muffled Voice of the Beat Generation

Diane Di Prima: The Muffled Voice of the Beat Generation

Date: August 1997
Creator: Goggans, Heather
Description: The Beat rejection of conventional values meant a rejection of marriage, family, and a nine-to-five job, and few women were prepared to make that kind of radical shift in a society that condemned women for behaving the way the Beats behaved. Though she has faced difficulty in getting published, Beat writer Diane Di Prima has been publishing steadily for the past forty years. Di Prima has also lived the life of a Beat, wandering the country, avoiding nine-to-five work and supporting herself with grants, teaching and poetry readings. In spite of her success and adherence to the Beat lifestyle, Di Prima has given birth to five children, all of whom she took with her in her travels. Diane Di Prima has always faced the particular challenge of gaining the acceptance of her male peers amid indifference and hatred toward her sex while not allowing these men to go unanswered.
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Chaucer and the Rhetorical Limits of Exemplary Literature

Chaucer and the Rhetorical Limits of Exemplary Literature

Date: May 1999
Creator: Youmans, Karen DeMent
Description: Though much has been made of Chaucer's saintly characters, relatively little has been made of Chaucer's approach to hagiography. While strictly speaking Chaucer produced only one true saint's life (the Second Nun's Tale), he was repeatedly intrigued and challenged by exemplary literature. The few studies of Chaucer's use of hagiography have tended to claim either his complete orthodoxy as hagiographer, or his outright parody of the genre. My study mediates the orthodoxy/parody split by viewing Chaucer as a serious, but self-conscious, hagiographer, one who experimented with the possibilities of exemplary narrative and explored the rhetorical tensions intrinsic to the genre, namely the tensions between transcendence and imminence, reverence and identification, and epideictic and deliberative discourse.
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Overcoming the Regional Burden: History, Tradition, and Myth in the Novels of Cormac McCarthy

Overcoming the Regional Burden: History, Tradition, and Myth in the Novels of Cormac McCarthy

Date: August 1997
Creator: Wegner, John M. (John Michael)
Description: In Overcoming the Regional Burden: History, Tradition, and Myth in the Novels of Cormac McCarthy, I contend that McCarthy's literary aesthetic develops and changes as he moves from Tennessee to Texas. McCarthy's conspicuous Southern and Southwestern regional affiliations have led critics to expect his works to recapitulate native history, traditions, and myths. Yet, McCarthy transcends provincial regionalism by challenging the creation of the regional and national myths we confuse with our actual histories and identities. McCarthy's fictions point away from accepted histories and point instead to figures marginalized by society and myth makers. These figures, according to McCarthy, are just as much a part of the creation of myth as those figures indelibly imprinted on our consciousness by literary and historical tradition. My dissertation, in many respects, focuses on McCarthy's debunking of both literary and historical tradition, and his concomitant revitalization of American identity.
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The Evolution of Dexter and Me

The Evolution of Dexter and Me

Date: May 1996
Creator: Bond, Ray (Edgar Ray)
Description: The Evolution of Dexter and Me is a collection of one vignette and four short stories. All of the stories deal with young men figuring out and coping with their daily life and environment. The "Dexter stories" deal with a character I developed and evolved, Dexter, a sane young man trying to find the best way to cope in an insane system.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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