Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
H. J. Ferns
"We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone" ("Loneliness"). This definition of the human condition by Orson Welles, the celebrated American actor and producer, aptly sums up the paradoxical nature of human experience: isolation and connection. In psychoanalysis, object relations theorists, in particular, have formulated ideas about the nature of the infant's early attachment to the mother, or primary care-giver, and its role in the development of a healthy ego. In essence, object relations theorists posit that an early, secure emotional attachment enables the individual to pass through maturational stages of development that decrease the emotional dependence on care-givers, allowing separation and the ability to form other significant bonds.
This study examines the theme of isolation and connection in the life and selected works of the contemporary British novelist Lisa St. Aubin de Terán, by applying the methods of some influential psychoanalytic thinkers, notably Anthony Storr, who has written extensively on the nature of creativity and the relationship between the internal and external world of the artist. A psychoanalytic discussion of St. Aubin de Terán's narratives as autobiographical acts is relevant because of the extent to which she has used her creative energies in a search for both personal and artistic identity. I concentrate on the three novels Keepers of the House (1982), Joanna (1991) and Nocturne (1992) because I believe them to be her strongest works. Written over a ten year period, they show a clear development in St. Aubin de Terán's exploration of isolation and connection as having both positive and negative possibilities and consequences.
Lucas-Hughes, Karen Patricia, "Isolation and Connection in the Life and Selected Works of Lisa St. Aubin de Terán" (1997). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 5911.
McMaster University Library