This short story collection follows diverse characters as they long to find their place in the chaos of modern world. As the trend of postmodern literature traces our failure to understand our lives and discover a larger context, we find that our reality is ever-changing and there is not a single constant to follow. We are disappointed by modern political systems, our lovers, and our own individual capabilities. The issue of belonging means finding a place that, both physically and mentally, provides context and meaning for our existence. The five short stories presented here examine social issues, such as immigration, political revolution, and social role of the media. At the same time, the subtleties of personal belonging--love, rejection, fear of the future, crisis of identity--are dissected under a looking glass, brought forward to emphasize the individual human element while the larger themes fade into the background. The main character of "Winter Velvet" speaks from the midst of the Velvet Revolution taking place in Prague, anxiously awaiting the outcome and attempting to understand the impact this revolution will have on his life. The narrator of "Metathesiophobia in Three Parts" possesses the kind of existential fears and anxieties we see in the eyes of American youth as they all face grim futures in a country without direction. "The Stage" explores the moments of terror an immigrant experiences when facing his first deportation scare. "El Pollo Negro" is the story of a Mexican man haunted by a black chicken as he attempts to build a life in America. Finally, "Jeremy Stock Live!" examines the role of morality in American reality TV shows ala Jerry Springer.; What is it that fascinates us about pitting tragically flawed people against an audience of judges and a host/executor? In all of these stories the characters experience a longing to hold onto a single place, to find firm ground in the world and allow home, whatever and wherever it is, to pour over them and never let them go.
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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic;Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Kalfar, Jaroslav, "Don't see, don't speak a collection of short stories" (2011). HIM 1990-2015. 1225.