The Fabrication of Personal History

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When I consider story ideas, I like the idea of taking cliché storylines at their bare bones, and trying to find parallels within my own life. Once I find that parallel, I am able to see a reality that is affected by different personalities and histories. Clichés exist for a reason. By recognizing them within my own life and the lives of loved ones, I feel I am able to better pick out that kernel that makes it a story rather than the same tale we hear over and over again. My pieces 'Attempting Bohemia' and 'Like Any Other Animal' are both set in the South. With living in the South comes an understanding of heat and sweat because for most of the year everyone is drenched in it. Heat can come with pain, anxiety, anger, and nervous energy. When your surroundings are already hot these emotions become accelerated. These experiences are so personal to me, that I wanted to convey these strong sensations so the reader can understand my emotional experience. After that, it seemed natural to write stories in which cultures clash, such as in 'Ignoring Landmarks' and 'To Hide a Volcano in a Mountain.' The breakup in 'Ignoring Landmarks' draws tension on language and hot and cold to further push the idea of separation. In 'To Hide a Volcano in a Mountain' it becomes about a Northern soldier and his Italian war-brides differences. His use Morse code, her attempt at fluency and her decline into Italian are both examples of how the two of them have muted themselves after the war. I wanted to push this idea of natural culture divides where some aspect is muted.
Thesis completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Alfred University Honors Program.
Honors thesis, Creative writing, Stories, Fiction