Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in English



First Advisor

Derek Nikitas


Using an original work of fiction, a novel I had written titled The Alice Atom, I have created multiple levels of media that encompass several aspects of said novel’s central theme – the desire to find meaning in not only products we create but the act of ‘following one’s dream.’ To achieve a personal goal is to follow, chase, or accomplish their ‘dreams,’ but I intended to explore the question of what that pursuit can tangibly look like. The action of the novel involves the protagonist literally searching for a woman he has imbued with deep philosophical meaning. I, as the author, consider this thesis with the same regard the protagonist has towards this figure from his dreams. I used the novel as a blueprint for additional materials that can engage the reader outside of the book artifact. This allowed the reader to enter the book in their own time in their own way, creating their own path that is nonlinear. I discovered that if given multiple paths to discover meaning in a piece of art, multiple meanings can be found. I also, unexpectedly and quite enjoyably, realized the philosophical footing with which the novel operates provided a clarity to my own struggles inherent in the pursuit of the aspirations I had towards a complete, publishable, ‘worthy’ novel. Dreams and goals should not be without a firm understanding of multiple forms of humanities-based media. The experimentation within The Compendium allowed for trial and error, multiple failures, and unlocking new discoveries tangential to the vision itself. The Compendium is an example of such experimentation and improvisation. The final version of this compendium includes various methods that undergird the main source, the novel: visual art, poetry, and creative nonfiction.



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