Babine, Karen, 1978-; Hampton, Bryan Adams
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
In the famously confessional field of creative nonfiction, the question of preserving one’s privacy is perhaps best explored by means of lyrical or hybrid essays; an explorative piece found at the intersection of poetic form and prose, between objective fact and creative presentation, which “sets off on an uncharted course through interlocking webs of idea, circumstance, and language - a pursuit with no foreknown conclusion, [and] an arrival that might still leave the writer questioning,” according to Noam Dorr. This pursuit without strict purpose allows for writers to dissect and discover the intricacies of seemingly straightforward topics: truth, memory, even selfhood, while still allowing for flexible definitions of Tim O’Brien’s so-called “story truth.” This work consists of three parts: a craft paper exploring Paula Carter, Durga Chew-Bose, Heidi Czerwiec and Brian Doyle’s approaches to balancing personal vulnerability with narrative discretion; a 40 page collection of my own flash pieces examining the transformative nature of place, performativity, etymology and Greco-Roman mythology; and a “commonplace book” compiled over the course of the writing, consisting of the project’s stylistic and thematic influences.
An Atlas-worthy weight of gratitude to Sybil Baker for patience and support that has never run dry. Thank you for convincing me my words were worth writing in the first place. To Dr. Brian Hampton, whose legendary lectures proved pedagogy could be as engaging as any tragic play, and to Dr. Karen Babine, who broke my brain open with the realization and appreciation of precisely what craft can do: Thank you. Thanks to Olivette Petersen, Thomas Wiegand and Madelynne Thompson for their support, insight and generous proofreading. And to my friends and family: you make roots worth having.
B. A.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Arts.
Commonplace books; Creative nonfiction, American; Creative writing
Sweeney, Shannon, "Living document: an exploration of “self” through lyric & hybrid forms" (2020). Honors Theses.