Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Arts in Creative Writing


Theatre Arts

Major Advisor

Martin Corless-Smith, Ph.D.


Kerri Webster, M.F.A


Cheryl Hindrichs, Ph.D.


Rebecca Wolff, M.F.A.


The Book of Ela or Apokalypsis in Five acts seeks first and foremost to investigate the layers of mental abstraction in which the human mind engages when thinking, and by extension, when writing. Writing and thinking do not end at the boundaries of genre. As such, I felt the styles therein should not stop at those boundaries either. Making use of influences such as Samuel Beckett, Virginia Woolf, Renee Gladman and Rosemarie Waldrop, I have endeavored to use narrative as a to form more fully and poetically explore the contours of language, and by extension, the contours of the mind. The project began with the investigation of character appearing in the text, known as the cartographer. The cartographer is strictly atemporal, and thus supersedes human consciousness. And yet, the cartographer’s existence presented itself as an ideal jumping off point from which to explore the many layers of consciousness that one immersed in such a continuum could never survey in full. Around the same time I was working on this character, I came across an article that reimagined Schrodinger’s famous thought experiment of the cat and the box with an additional layer. Now it was not only the cat, the box and the person opening the box that combined to collapse the wave function. This new configuration required a second observer watching from outside the room, observing not only cat and box, but observer. The question was: when in this scenario does the wave function collapse? This was endlessly fascinating to me, and I found myself thinking that since we are so many selves, this sort of dynamic unfolds within the bounds of consciousness in every decision we make.