short stories, fiction, creative writing
This collection of seven short stories details the emotional triumphs and complications of characters whose lives are altered by issues of sexuality and disconnection. An adolescent girl feels her father slipping away from her and, in turn, willfully destroys the imaginary world of the boy she babysits; a speech therapist struggles to make headway with a young patient while finding himself unable to communicate with his ex-lover; a gay poet cheats on his boyfriend in a desperate attempt to fuel his failing art. The dramatis personae of Two Blades Come Together is comprised of individuals who struggle towards grace and happiness but are thwarted by their inability to fit neatly into the lives of those they love. Several of the stories approach these issues through the framework of contemporary myth, exploring how fairy tales and the supernatural act upon the characters' relationships and the way they perceive their situations. The heroines of "Proof of Snow" and "The Pill Woman" are both affected by the unseen; one suffers under the strange influence of her brother even after his death, while the other must make a decision to uphold her fairy-tale world or dismantle it. In these stories, the tangibility of the supernatural is elusive and unproven, but the altered perceptions of the protagonists and their actions because of it are extremely real, with extremely real consequences. The collection also explores and tests the boundaries between poetry and fiction, pushing always towards language that is aesthetic and musical while not sacrificing the momentum and architecture of prose. Two Blades Come Together incorporates linguistic ideas from poets as varied as contemporary surrealists Laura Kasischke and Mary Ruefle to the grounded wryness of Tony Hoagland and Lynda Hull, weaving poetic language with narrative, hybridizing the qualities of fiction and poetry in an attempt to create a unique, musical vision of short fiction that is both functional and artful.
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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Pursell, Mark Edward, "Two Blades Come Together: Stories" (2007). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3306.