Lies: a collection of short stories
Wellington, Melissa June
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The purpose of this thesis is to demonstrate understanding of the themes, techniques and traditions of creative writing, combining all of the knowledge gleaned from coursework in a body of original fiction. The thesis consists of a collection of short stories and a critical introduction which positions them within the mode of modernism. Themes, structure and the process of creative development are examined and explicated. Influences on style, theme, subject and tone are also described so as to create a line of continuity linking this work to its literary predecessors. The stories follow the path first blazed by Chekhov, then expanded by later modernist writers such as James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway. Stylistically, I have been most influenced by the lyricism of writers like Gabriel Garc??a M??rquez and Flannery O??Connor. I have chosen as the subjects of my stories ordinary people who lead ordinary lives generally devoid of fabulous and exciting incidents that might comprise an exciting plot. The characters themselves do not represent anything in particular, except perhaps a general human condition that, due to their very ordinariness, is inescapable. By encompassing within the narratives both dreams and extended imaginings, these stories will challenge the boundaries of literal reality in some small degree. Although each story will advance its own ??discrete moment,?? all the stories will share a focus on internal struggles rather than on external actions and an overall theme of lying, concentrating on the lies that we, as humans, tell ourselves in order to deal with events that occur in our lives and the consequences of our actions. Following in the footsteps of James Joyce and Flannery O??Connor, each of the stories will be epiphanic rather than anecdotal in nature. However, some of the stories will center on false or failed epiphanies, wherein the main character fails to come to a realization or comes to an incorrect realization.