Abstract (Summary)This dissertation, Human Rooms, a collection of original poetry by Charles Rybak, includes four sections consisting largely of narrative poems. A range of formal styles is incorporated, including sonnets, sestinas, villanelles, prose poetry, and a variety of free verse arrangements. The poems engage many themes, the most central being mythology in both its classical and contemporary manifestations. As the dominant theme, myth is juxtaposed with related themes, such as technology, information, popular culture, family history, and cultural history. In addition, these poems explore mythologizing and demythologizing as meaning-making processes that often fictionalize what is commonly accepted as factual. While these themes are social in nature, many of the poems detail the mythology of the self, focusing on isolated and exiled personas that struggle with the ability to make meaning; these figures often find themselves on the threshold of personal growth and change, yet are unable to achieve metamorphosis. The dissertation also includes a critical paper, "Absalom, Absalom! and the Performance of Literary Modernity." This paper examines two works: Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner and "Literary History and Literary Modernity" by Paul de Man, for the purpose of discussing Faulkner's novel as the formal performance of literary modernity. The paper's main objective is to isolate and discuss literary modernity as it exists stylistically, rather than as a movement merely defined by time period and canonical association.
School:University of Cincinnati
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:01/01/2003