Thesis

The dream of the man in the piano

This thesis contains the first seven chapters of a novel in progress. The novel is set in the present. The protagonist and narrator is an engineer working at an aerospace company in the San Fernando Valley. The narrator is a remarkable figure in that he has repressed the memories of the death of his mother and father. He operates in the present by insulating himself within a false past. This insulation allows him to postpone experiencing the trauma associated with the death of his parents. We encounter the narrator soon after his repression begins to falter. As a manifestation of the faltering repression, the narrator experiences a recurring dream in which he sees a man and piano joined as one. Additionally, the narrator begins to suffer paranoid episodes in which he experiences mild distortions of reality. The narrator engages both of these features of his life unaware that he has engaged his potent and repressed past. Much of the narrative occurs while on a road trip to Yosemite with his girlfriend and another couple. Although this road trip is an ostensible get-away, events occur which act as catalysts, enabling the narrator's crisis. The novel is written as an interior monologue. This point of view is useful in that it allows an economical explication of manifold distortions of reality experienced by the narrator. In this work, all four characters suffer from their own personality quirks and therefore it is problematic to point to any one objective reality. The narrative relies on the reader to absorb disparate points of view and establish a virtual reality through narration, dialogue and action.

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