UNT Theses and Dissertations - 11 Matching Results

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Dawn in the Empty House

Description: The preface to this collection of poems, "Memory and The Myth of Lost Truth," explores the physical and metaphysical roles memory plays within poetry. It examines the melancholy frequently birthed from a particular kind poetic self-inquiry, or, more specifically, the feelings associated with recognizing the self's inability to re-inhabit the emotional experience of past events, and how poetry can redeem, via engaging our symbolic intuition, the faultiness of remembered history. Dawn in the Empty House is a collection of poems about the implications of human relationships, self-deception, and memory as a tool for self-discovery.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Campbell, John
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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 any attempts to provide a standard definition of the word-are tenuous at best, it is equally tenuous to suggest that any libertines conform to conventional or standard libertinism. In fact, the literary and "real life" libertines in this study not only fail to conform to such definitions of libertinism, but also reinterpret libertinism. While all these libertines do possess similar characteristics-namely affluence, insatiable sexual appetites, and a rebellion against institutional authorities (the Church, reason, government, family, and marriage)-they often misinterpret libertinism, reason, and Hobbesian philosophy. Furthermore, they all choose different, unique ways to oppose patriarchal, social authorities. These aberrant ways ...
Date: May 2008
Creator: Smith, Victoria
Partner: UNT Libraries

Opening Day

Description: Although I've read and written poetry for my own pleasure for about twenty years now, I've only seriously studied and written poetry on a consistent basis for the past two years. In this sense, I still consider myself a beginning poet. When attempting to pursue an art form as refined and historically informed as poetry, only after spending a number of years reading and writing intensively would I no longer consider myself a beginner, but a practitioner of the art. I've grounded my early development as a poet in concision, voice, and imagination, and hope to build upon these ideas with other poetic techniques, theories, and forms as I go forward. I am particularly interested in mastering the sonnet form, a concise and imaginative form that will allow me to further develop my skills. Hopefully, the works in this thesis reflect that effort.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Van Hooser, David
Partner: UNT Libraries

Paradox and Balance in the Anglo-Saxon Mind of Beowulf

Description: This essay argues that the Anglo-Saxon poet of Beowulf presents the reader with a series of paradoxes and attempts to find a balance within these paradoxes. At the forefront is the paradox of past and present, explored through the influence of the past on the characters in the poem as well as the poet. Additionally, the poem offers the paradox of light and dark, which ultimately suggests light and dark as symbols of Christianity and paganism. Finally, the land and the sea offer the third primary paradox, indicating the relationship that the characters and poet had with land and sea, while also reflecting the other paradoxes in the poem. The result is the desire to find balance within the paradoxes through the recognition of ongoing tension.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Fox, Bonnie L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Politics of Translation: Authorship and Authority in the Writings of Alfred the Great

Description: The political implications of the OE prose translations of King Alfred (849-899) are overlooked by scholars who focus on the literary merits of the texts. When viewed as propaganda, Alfred's writings show a careful reshaping of their Latin sources that reaffirms Alfred's claim to power. The preface to Pastoral Care, long understood to be the inauguration of Alfred's literary reforms, is invested with highly charged language and a dramatic reinvention of English history, which both reestablishes the social hierarchy with the king more firmly in place at its head and constructs the inevitability of what is actually a quite radical translation project. The translations themselves reshape their readers' understanding of kingship, even while creating implicit comparison between Alfred and the Latin authors.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Crumbley, Allex
Partner: UNT Libraries

Prudence Stories

Description: This collection of three original short stories is an excerpt from a novel about an East Texas family whose common bond is the need for a second chance. A preface dealing with the use of setting as a character precedes the short stories.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Coleman, Britta M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Rhetorical Transformations of Trees in Medieval England: From Material Culture to Literary Representation

Description: Literary texts of medieval England feature trees as essential to the individual and communal identity as it intersects with nature, and the compelling qualities and organic processes associated with trees help vernacular writers interrogate the changing nature of this character. The early depiction of trees demonstrates an intimacy with nature that wanes after the tenth-century monastic revival, when the representation of trees as living, physical entities shifts toward their portrayal as allegorical vehicles for the Church's didactic use. With the emergence of new social categories in the late Middle Ages, the rhetoric of trees moves beyond what it means to forge a Christian identity to consider the role of a ruler and his subjects, the relationship between humans and nature, and the place of women in society. Taking as its fundamental premise that people in wooded regions develop a deep-rooted connection to trees, this dissertation connects medieval culture and the physical world to consider the variety of ways in which Anglo-Saxon and post-Norman vernacular manuscripts depict trees. A personal identification with trees, a desire for harmony between society and the environment, and a sympathy for the work of trees lead to the narrator's transformation in the Dream of the Rood. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Junius 11 manuscript, illustrated in Genesis A, Genesis B, and manuscript images, scrutinizes the Anglo-Saxon Christian's relationship and responsibility to God in the aftermath of the Fall. As writers transform trees into allegories in works like Genesis B and Geoffrey Chaucer's Parson's Tale, the symbolic representations retain their spontaneous, organic processes to offer readers a visual picture of the Christian interior-the heart. Whereas the Parson's Tale promotes personal and radical change through a horticultural narrative starring the Tree of Penitence and Tree of Vices, Chaucer's Knight's Tale appraises the role ...
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Date: December 2008
Creator: Grimes, Jodi Elisabeth
Partner: UNT Libraries

Shared Spaces: The Human and the Animal in the Works of Zora Neale Hurston, Mark Twain, and Jack London

Description: Living in tune with nature means respecting the natural environment and realizing its power and the ways it manifests in daily life. This essay focuses on the ways in which respect for nature is expressed through animal imagery in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, Mark Twain's "The Stolen White Elephant," Roughing It, and Pudd'nhead Wilson, and Jack London's The Call of the Wild. Each author encouraged readers to seek the benefits of nature in order to become better human beings, forge stronger communities, and develop a more unified nation and world. By learning from the positive example of the animals, we learn how to share our world with them and with each other.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Harper, Pamela Evans
Partner: UNT Libraries

Tinder for the Bathhouses

Description: In the preface to this collection, "Poetry and History: Finding 'What Will Suffice,'" I show how Czeslaw Milosz's "Dedication" and Jorie Graham's "Guantánamo" embody the virtues of philosophical meditation and the moral imagination to create a unique poetry of witness. These poems also provide American poets with an example of how they can regain the trust of an apathetic general reading audience. Tinder for the Bathhouses is a collection of poems in which I use the moral imagination to indirectly bear witness to events as far ranging as the Holocaust and the Iraq War. Using the family as a foundation, I show how historical narratives can provide a poet with the tools to think about larger metaphysical questions that poetry can raise, such as the nature of beauty and the purpose of art.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Bredthauer, Bredt
Partner: UNT Libraries

What Do You Do? A Memoir in Essays

Description: These personal essays present a twenty-something's evolving attitudes toward her occupations. Each essay explores a different job-from birthday party clown, to seitan-maker, to psychiatric den mother-while circling around sub-themes of addiction, disability, sex, love, nature, and nourishment (both food and otherwise). Through landscape, extended metaphor and symbol, and recurring characters, the collection addresses how a person's work often defines how she sees the world. Each of the narrator's jobs thrusts her into networks of people and places that both helps and impedes the process of self-discovery. As a whole, the essay collection functions as a memoir, tracking an often-universal journey, one that many undertake in order to discover a meaningful life, and sometimes, eventually, a career.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Keckler, Kristen A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Where My Own Grave Is

Description: The preface to this collection, "Against Expectation: The Lyric Narrative," highlights the ways James Wright, Stephen Dunn, and C.K. Williams use narrative to strengthen their poems. Where My Own Grave Is is a collection of poems that uses narrative to engage our historical fascination with death.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Collier, Jordan Taylor
Partner: UNT Libraries