Baker, Sybil; Guy, Matthew
College of Arts and Sciences
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
The personal essay is difficult to define in part because of the diversity of structures and subjects that can fall under this category within creative nonfiction. Defining the form in terms of the fragment, specifically the fragment as it was envisioned by Romantic philosophers, acknowledges the contemporary personal essay’s roots in both ancient literature and the Essais of Michel de Montaigne, as well as its modernist and postmodernist evolution. The creative portion of this thesis consists of a collection of essays by Meghan O’Dea entitled Here, In This Place. The introductory essay discusses how the theory of the fragment applies to both the structure and ethos of the personal essay as a literary form, and how defining the personal essay as fragment informed the writing of the essays included in this collection.
I owe a huge debt to Sarah Einstein for giving a rampant reader and nascent writer a foundation in literary nonfiction, sight unseen and in good faith. I am immensely grateful to Sybil Baker for believing in my early work, and for the chance to study in Hong Kong. I thank Matthew Guy for changing the way I think about some of my very favorite works. Thank you to Rebecca Jones for encouraging me to try new things on the page and thinking big. I acknowledge that a version of “Making It Home” has been published previously by the Washington Post and that “I Fell Hard on Our Second Date” has been published previously by Ink & Coda.
M. A.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Arts.
American essays -- 21st century
vii, 67 leaves
O'Dea, Meghan M., "Here, In This Place: An Essay Collection" (2016). Masters Theses and Doctoral Dissertations.