Date of Award

January 2018

Degree Type

Closed Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


English and Theatre

First Advisor

Julie Hensley

Department Affiliation

English and Theatre

Second Advisor

Carter Sickels

Department Affiliation

English and Theatre

Third Advisor

R. Dean Johnson

Department Affiliation

English and Theatre


This project explores the conditions and qualities of the American South, through an abstract lens of absurdism, surrealism, and magical realism. It seeks to understand and illustrate the function of the narrative voice and perspective in literature, and how these tools are effective in creating a sense of identity found in literary works. The critical introduction of this piece makes use of primary sources, involving Rick Bass, Ron Carlson, Jonathon Culler, Jennifer Egan, John Gardner, James Joyce, Ursula Le Guin, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Haruki Murakami, and James Wood. Some of these authors and critical theorists are used to provide foundational support on terminology and structure, involving voice and narrative, while others are cited as examples of stylistic success involving literary identity. This work also contains several original stories, developed and created with the techniques and ideas of the critical introduction in mind.

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