A Thousand Golden Yesterdays
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How can the chaotic, dissonant headspace brought about by trauma-induced dissociative disorders be effectively and accurately portrayed in creative fiction? A Thousand Golden Yesterdays, a novella-length creative artifact, endeavors to find one answer to this question by depicting the unstable, rapidly deteriorating mental state of its protagonist, Logan Cox, through prose that continually shifts between first person, second person, and third person narrative points of view; this approach is one strongly informed by research into dissociative disorders and the effects of physical and emotional abuse throughout one’s formative years using academically relevant resources such as the DSM-V. Logan’s mental deterioration is primarily brought about by his being asked to deliver a eulogy at his recently deceased father’s funeral. As he travels from his home in Los Angeles, California to the site of the funeral in Houston, Texas, Logan experiences a series of traumatic flashbacks to moments of his father’s abusive behavior toward him and finds himself beset by increasingly unsettling, surreal imagery in the present; this all culminates in a climactic, primal expression of Logan’s rage and psychosis as he is finally called upon to give the aforementioned eulogy. The primary purpose of this work beyond exploring methods of realistic portrayal of mental illness in fiction is to experiment with the idea that different points of view can meaningfully interact with and inform a character’s mental state as they recount and recall different events, thus becoming a more significant symbolic component of the narrative as a whole. This experimentation is intended to generate conversation within the world of creative fiction regarding how the points of view and established narrative conventions one utilizes when writing can be selected with greater symbolic intent if one’s protagonist or narrator suffers from mental health issues, particularly post-traumatic dissociative disorders such as fugue states and depersonalization.
Aggie Creative Collective
Edwards, Lewis William (2019). A Thousand Golden Yesterdays. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from
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