Title

Sex Poems

Author

Cian Doyle

Date of Award

2016

First Advisor

Wesley Brown

Second Advisor

Karen Beaumont

Abstract

Reading the stories now, it occurs to me that they are all united, but incomplete – each of them patches apart of the larger quilt that is this period of my life; a sort of record, but not in any chronological or factual sense. To quote Lawrence Durrell: “What I most need to do is to record experiences, not in the order in which they took place – for that is history – but in the order in which they first became significant for me.” (Justine) Among the stories, there are various narrators, and between them, they address (and I think nothing more than) the circumstance of their conception – the mind of the author at that time. By working with different narrators, I tried to give a multidimensional aspect to the project as a whole, to create a shape with many sides as opposed to only one face. I’m not sure if this can be achieved by a single author – where all narrators spring from the same source, where they are all inextricably tied to my version of events. Ideally, I would leave my body and inhabit others, and work from there. But, that is what I tried to do; here is what I’ve done: I wrote, for lack of a better word, a collection of stories and essays. The stories do not address anything in particular, or at least, it was not my intention to do so – they are simply a record of sorts; the essay addresses what did not make it into the stories, with more - if not direction - clarity. To v i this end, I hope the thesis is read and taken on its own terms – that is, as a development of thought, not a product, and so as incomplete. None of the stories are modeled after actual persons or events - any inferences made are just that. If you are looking for yourself, then you are from the outset choosing not to read this - you are not examining the literature on it's own terms, but imposing your own on it. The title, Sex Poems, is a parody of the content and so a reflection of the central thesis of this project: “[…] being able to clutch tightly and release in the same breath.” (Weak Thought) I wrote this thesis for myself. More than anything else, it is a record of failure – but only in the most optimistic sense. It has been a wonderful excursion: I am now ready to throw it away and start again.

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