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Type: Theses
Title: This old man
Author: Zweck, Jonathan Mark
Issue Date: 2017
School/Discipline: School of Humanities
Abstract: This Old Man is comprised of a childhood section from a larger novel that interweaves the experiences of a group of childhood friends who, as adults, are compelled to return to their home town to face an evil they were haunted by as children. Due to word count constraints, the chapters submitted for the Thesis are from the ‘childhood section’ of the novel only. The novel in its entirety explores how adult selves are shaped by their past experiences. This first thematic drive is explored alongside another, which focusses on ideas of agency and humanity in the face of these deterministic forces. The larger work responds to Stephen King’s IT. It employs the tropes of the Horror genre to tell a story about manhood, boyhood, and what happens in between; a story about the summer when, as kids, the characters were hunted by The Farmer and his Doberman, and the summer nearly twenty years later when they return to finish the battle as adults: adults with inner demons that may prove to be stronger than the Farmer himself; adults who are facing the traumas of their past and attempting to find the capacity to forge and maintain relationships; adults who must finally grow up and accept responsibility for their actions and the fate of their lives. ‘An Act of Reading and Writing’ Why am I drawn to heroic genre fiction? Why did I choose it as a mode to explore agency? And why did Horror end up being the mode in which to do it? What is it about the reinvention of these familiar structures that on the one hand fills a deep need for stability, but on the other challenges the way I think about the world? Why do reading and writing act as a meditative process? What is it about fiction that evades essentialism, and how do prescriptive structures like the Hero’s Journey act as a meditative space that open themselves up to interpret the world around us? This exegesis explores these questions through a framework of discussions with texts that informed my work. Using a humanist framework centred on the agency of the individual to affect change, as argued for by Edward Said, I explore how literature acts as a kind of humanist theology in the post-modern world, as envisaged by Andy Mousley. I then explore how heroic structures in genre fiction might be a meditation on agency.
Advisor: Castro, Brian
Jose, Nicholas
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Humanities, 2017.
Keywords: creative writing
popular fiction
hero's journey
heroic structure
postmodern humanism
literature as ersatz theology
Stephen King
Edward Said
Andrew Mousley
reading as conversation
Provenance: Vol. 1 [Creative work] This old man -- v. 2 [Exegesis] An act of reading and writing
This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
DOI: 10.4225/55/5b20825498bae
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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01front.pdfNovel295.36 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
02whole.pdfNovel1.12 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
03front.pdfExegesis292.73 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
04whole.pdfExegesis667.76 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
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