Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

“Psychopomp”: An exploration into the underworld via life extension technology
by Blackburn, Bonnie Jean, M.F.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2011, 26; 1504431
Abstract (Summary)

This project report reviews how advances in the field of life extension technologies, particularly those promoted by Aubrey de Grey and his Methuselah Foundation, inspired Bonnie Jean Blackburn's original work Psychopomp. With the advent of negligible senescence looming, the story's characters explore the psychological repercussions and challenges of living-in good health-well beyond the century mark, as well as the pro-aging trance that leads people to resist biological interventions that aim ultimately to render death obsolete. Ernest Becker's theory of the causa sui, or personal immortality project, is applied in an analysis of lead character Joseph Basil's centuries-long effort to develop Age Reversal Therapy (ART) for the masses, in an attempt to offset the loneliness of his existence as a semi-immortal psychopomp. The report further analyzes the dramatic repurposing of mythological archetypes and psychological theories throughout the story, and offers a brief explication for the structural form employed throughout the work.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lane, Brian Alan
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 50/03M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Fine arts, American literature, Film studies
Publication Number: 1504431
ISBN: 978-1-124-99363-8
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