Title

The Mythology of Flight

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Fine Arts

Major

Creative Writing

Date of Defense

4-13-2012

Graduate Advisor

Mary Troy, Professor

Committee

John Dalton

Eamonn Wall

Abstract

"The Mythology of Flight" is a novel in progress. It is told in the first person by a young man, Frankie Ahern, who is dissecting the memories of his past in an attempt to understand himself and his family. The novel begins during WWII, when then ten-year-old Frankie returns to his childhood home following his mother's death and subsequent dissolution of his family. Born with a wild imagination, and one that has been fed with a love of stories and pictures and possibly most importantly his own disillusionment, Frankie has built utopian memories of his earliest years as a kind of armor to protect himself against the ensuing reality of what is left to him: an imperfect father, many brothers, and a dysfunctional extended family, some of whom do not have Frankie or his father's best interests at heart. By the age of thirteen, much of Frankie's imaginary world, the world of fathers as flying war heroes and mothers as saints, has long since crumbled. Ever the optimistic dreamer, he searches for some kind of regularity and peace. Ironically, in a climactic, instinctual decision, Frankie causes an accident that will impact his, and his famiy's life more profoundly than anything to date. This is a novel that explores not only memory or the complexity of family, but the acceptance of disillusioned reminiscence, and the attempt to not restore, but understand, where the past has brought us.

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