Date of Award
Creative writing, Fiction
My dissertation, From the Future Mended Body of a Child, is a novel composed of a collection of narrative vignettes that thematically embody, physically represent, narratively investigate, and theoretically evoke issues surrounding memorialization (the process of preserving and reencountering memory). Three foundational questions will scaffold the novel: How is memory constructed psychologically and narratologically? How is trauma represented in public sites of memorial? And, how is writing an act of memory and memorialization?
At the narrative center of From the Future Mended Body of a Child are Olivia and her mother, both of whom suffer from obsessions grounded in memory; her mother’s compulsion is rooted in a need to document every aspect in her life while Olivia’s urge is to habitually visit locations of memorialization, (museums, archives, memorials, etc.). Through a fractured identity Olivia unsuccessfully attempts to escape her abusive childhood, but her inherited neurosis keeps her psychologically linked to her past and functions as emotional triggers bringing back memories of her childhood.
While From the Future Mended Body of a Child is conceptually motivated by the theoretical concerns surrounding memorialization (disruption resulting from trauma, reliability of memory, significance of physical artifacts, aesthetics of documentation, etc.) it will also attempt to embody these elements through its creative aesthetics. As such, From the Future Mended Body of a Child is rooted in narrative unreliability, traumatic fracture, and the romanticization of the mundane. It will be a novel that blends genre, with an emphasis on language, that will function similarly to memory, as composite experience, glimpses of vivid detail and evocative sensory experience that distorts reality and personalizes the recollection.
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Green, Dana, "From the Future Mended Body of a Child" (2016). Restricted Access ETDs. 46.
Received from author