Fear is one of the oldest and most basic of human emotions. In this thesis, I will explore the topic of fear in relation to literature, both a staple of the horror genre as well as a device in literary works, as well as in my own writings. In addition, I will use Sigmund Freud's theory of the “uncanny” as a possible device to examine the complexities of fear and its effects both on the mind and body through the medium of literature, and, more specifically, where and how these notions are used within my own short stories. By exploring how and why certain fears are generated, we may be able to better examine our own reactions in this regard.
I provide in my preface a brief account of my development as a creative writer. Through this development I draw an analogy to the evolution of modern science by stating that my need for personal clarity is analogous to the charge for empirical clarity of modern science. Furthermore, I contrast the objectivism of modern science to the subjectivism of creative writing. The four short stories in my thesis range from a semi-autobiographical story, to two short stories that stem out further and further from the subjective origin of the first story. The story of greatest distance is “Fireflies,” which is not semi-autobiographical, but pure fiction. The final short story returns to the subjective origin of the first. The drive of Distances is thereby to create a sort parabola: a subjective, semi-autobiographical origin, to an objective, purely fictional crest, then a return to that subjective, semi-autobiographical origin. The entire collection is a holistic, ultimately subjective, and therefore personal experience; yet, through the use certain tropes,metaphors others can relate to, the stories are paradoxically sharable.
A creative, multi-genre collection that includes three personal essays (non-fiction) and two short stories (fiction). The pieces in this collection primarily focus on the themes of loneliness and waiting. It includes pieces dealing with homosexual relationships, friendships and heterosexual relationships. Collection includes the essays "The Line," "Why We Don't Talk about Christmas," and "Boys Who Kiss Back," and includes the short stories "I Am Allowed to Say Faggot" and "Dear Boy."
Home: A Memoir, a creative non-fiction thesis, is a memoir in the form of personal essays, each exploring some aspect of the meaning of home, how my sense of self has been formed by my relationship to home, and the inevitability of leaving home. Chapter I explores the nature of memory and of memoir, their relationship to each other and to truth, and how a writer's voice shapes memoir. Chapter II, “Paternity,” is an attempt to remember my father, resulting in renewed interest in his past and renewed awareness of his legacy. Chapter III, “Home,” is on the surface about my grandparents' house, but is really about my grandmother. Chapter IV, “Dixie,” is about my contradictory feelings for the South, and my eventual acceptance of the South's complexities.
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