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For my thesis, entitled The Textbook, I have submitted the first 40,000 words of my prospective novel of the same name. The Textbook is semi-dystopian, allegory in which the protagonist is disturbed by his belief in the existence of a secret underground governmental textbook, which categorizes human beings according to their medical records. He is similarly disturbed by the politics, religion and the media, and often hears voices of celebrities and historical figures. The novel is specifically allegorical of to our societal prejudice of alcoholism and mental health, though it extends to disability in general. For someone to be included in The Textbook, individuals must have a recognisable diagnosis with a cure, prognosis or recognised type of treatment. As my protagonist has never had an exact diagnosis for his mental condition, he feels excluded and his paranoia grows. Whether it is beneficial to included in The Textbook is left deliberately unclear until we reach the denouement, when the universal meaning of the novel unravels. The meaning of the text becomes clearer as it progresses and, as such, it is purposefully fragmented to mirror the protagonist’s confused state of mind and his ‘poetry’ worsens as the plot unfolds for the same reasons. Interwoven within the main plot is a series of chapters called ‘The Brain Factory’, which are written in plain English and form a sub-narrative, with parallel plots unfolding. I have included two of these chapters here. With reference to the dialect, the main body of the text is written in ‘watered-down Edinburgh Gadgie’ and, in keeping with the Scots’ vernacular of modern times, my representation of many words is variable. Furthermore, I have omitted three chapters from my submission for the purpose of thesis regulation and have adapted the chapters accordingly. As such, I have compensated for the gaps in the narrative by amending chapters accordingly.
Thesis, MFA Master of Fine Arts
Embargo Date: 2022-04-6
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print and electronic copy restricted until 6th April 2022
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