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Knowing : stories

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Knowing : stories

Motyka, Susan (2003) Knowing : stories. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Knowing: Stories explores the relationship between foregrounds and backgrounds in characters' lives. Set in periods from the 1930s to the present, and written in a realistic style, the stories in the collection examine the ways in which aspects (whether personal, familial, ethnic, or social) of characters' backgrounds are relevant to their present situations. Such aspects may be welcome or unwelcome to the characters; evident or initially hidden; may be felt to intrude on the present, or may be actively used; they may be seen to create limitations, or to provide possibilities. What the stories share in common is a focus on the unavoidable relevance of aspects of background to the characters' attempts to create meaning and identities, and to understand, engage with, and shape their present and future situations. In the stories, "foreground" and "background" may be understood spatially/geographically, in which sense "foreground" refers to characters' current, and "background" to previous or prospective, locations: characters anticipate, with anxiety or hope, the places towards which they are traveling ("The Dictionary"); conversely, from vantage points in new locations, characters reflect on the circumstances, homes, or countries they have left behind ("Nightshade"). The characters also conceive of "foreground" and "background" in temporal terms, with the present constituting the "foreground" and the past, or the future, functioning as a "background" ("Grey Lake" and "Knowing"). What links the stories is their shared perspective on how coming to know aspects of background is, for some characters, an essential task.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > English
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Motyka, Susan
Pagination:iv, 97 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Dept. of English
Date:2003
Thesis Supervisor(s):Byrnes, Terence
ID Code:2390
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:27
Last Modified:14 Dec 2012 16:35
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