This dissertation consists of a novel of narrative fiction based on historical and fictional characters and events, interwoven in the tradition of James Michener, and a contextual essay/exegesis. This two-part dissertation explores the Self through a conjoined journey of the author and the fictional protagonist, and addresses a quest for in-depth understanding of Self. It further explores the researcher's response to creating this manuscript. Through the novel and the exegesis, the work is placed into the context of life experiences, and allows reflection into the Self, the evolution of the work, the research undertaken, and the writing process. The exegesis reflects the scholarly research that contributed to the writing of both documents, and is a means to elucidate perspective in terms of cultural, social, literary, artistic, spiritual, and philosophical engagement. The methodology undertaken is an art-based research design arranged loosely on the heuristic model that uses creative writing as a vehicle for study. This paper holds that creative writing, as opposed to technical writing, journalistic reporting, or clinical writing is both an art and a craft. It further asserts the concept that the creation of literature—of writing creatively—is an end in itself Additionally, the concept of the Echo Effect is explored, a syndrome that occurs in the aftermath of stress-induced traumatic occurrences, somewhat akin to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The creative portion of my dissertation facilitates the exploration of personal experiences by journeying with the protagonist and visiting emotions and events through her eyes. Positioning the story in the midst of royal political intrigue and a slave-gathering voyage in the 16th century makes possible the exploration of themes of racial and spiritual discrimination, gender bias, and ethical questions, and allows for deep introspection into those areas. The exegesis reflects on the themes explored in the novel, and expands on these to achieve a creative synthesis demonstrating psychospiritual growth in areas of self-awareness, spirituality, insight, and healing through art-based research and therapy. This first-person exploration of the Self through creative writing may pave the way for further individual study, and to findings which will be of benefit to others.
|Advisor:||Williams, M. Willson|
|School:||Union Institute and University|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/12, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Modern literature, American literature|
|Keywords:||Art-based research, Narrative fiction, Novel, Original writing, Sojourner Moon, Texas|
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