UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Acts of observance ; mending the broken spirit, nurturing the unrepentant heart Shields, Faith

Abstract

Herein is contained: An acknowledgment of that illusive, illusory and illuminating (some say skittish) expectation which I designate "impossible hope," and its usefulness in rendering the unbearableness of life bearable, the untenable tenable and the unthinkable permissible. An account of the author's physical, intellectual, semiotic, semantic and emotional struggles and those of several of her friends. An examination of the confessional as an inherent aspect of autobiography; yet, not inhibitory of creative, contradictory, farcical and fantastical potentialities. A collection of prose poems of the author's own making which seek to write sound, breath and body into autobiographical narrative. An argument in favour of recognizing the physicality of writing and of thinking vs. the myth of the disembodied scholar. A discussion of the objectification of the female sex and of female desire, and the increasingly ambiguous manner in which those whelped by and weaned from more traditional and conservative feminist theory, interpret these two. A plea for the incorporation of critically subjective autobiography not only into the curriculum, but into the personal praxis of pedagogues. An account of writing as a potential site for reclamation; a process whereby we might better survive the inevitability of loss. An explanation of the author's writing process, particularly as it regards experiential prosepoetry. A further and generally loving tribute to "impossible hope" and the sisyphean nature of living and writing.

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