Date of Award

4-1-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

McMullen, Kim

Abstract

This thesis is a novella of fantastic realism, one that follows a short period of time in the life of Ari Feldman: Jewish, homosexual, an aspiring writer, estranged from his family, and chronically irresponsible. The plot sees Ari attempting to write a novel, one that he hopes will resolve his financial troubles and repair his deteriorating relationship with his long-time boyfriend, Aaron. He turns to two disparate sources of inspiration: popular vampire novels and the ghost stories of his late great-grandmother Rivke ‰ÛÏBubbie‰Û Feldman. Hoping to find a ‰ÛÏsexier‰Û origin to the folk tales Ari visits Heath, his uncle who has been estranged from the rest of the family. Heath shows Ari a DVD, the first of a set that contain an interview with Bubbie. In the video, Bubbie reveals that she left her village in Poland because she was possessed by a dybbuk, a ghost out of Yiddish folklore. Ari eventually decides that he wants to write a novel about dybbuks, and travels to Albany to learn the rest of Bubbie‰Ûªs story. He learns the true story behind Bubbie‰Ûªs possession before returning to New York, where he must confront the realities of his life, his relationship, his father, and the dybbuk itself. Influenced by Isaac Bashevis Singer, Jonathan Safran Foer and James Joyce, this novella explores the conflicts of family, the responsibility of the artist, and the power of traditional narratives to influence modern life.

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