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Bell, Melanie A. (2011) Traverse. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Traverse is a coming of age novel in the künstlerroman tradition, following the coming of age of an artist—in this case Anna Stern, a piano prodigy in rural Prince Edward Island. It is less about art than about the idealization of art and artistic talent, especially as these relate to the Classical-Romantic ideal of a muse; Traverse foregrounds the human tendency to perceive and engage in relationships through this essentializing lens. Musical aspirations are a family legacy for Anna, who moves from emulation to agency, from idealizing another's gifts to being idealized by another, never losing awareness of her own potential and her shortcomings in relation to it.
Traverse engages with temporality by shifting between time lines over the course of the chapters. The protagonist's mythologization of talent contrasts with the narrative's focus on the mundane, providing a sometimes disillusioning grounding to the novel's cast of dreamers. The real-life artistic process proves more capricious than Anna's ideals, subject to the influence of individual personality and the shifting priorities inherent in the process of growing up. Given Anna's imperfect and malleable nature, failure is portrayed as a sometimes necessary component of an ongoing process of personal and artistic maturation.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > English
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Bell, Melanie A.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Date:May 2011
Thesis Supervisor(s):di Michele, Mary
ID Code:7778
Deposited By: MELANIE BELL
Deposited On:21 Nov 2011 14:36
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:31
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