Lost Elysium: space as a metaphor for the liminal in a post-Catholic world

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O'Donnell, Mary
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University College Cork
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This thesis was submitted as part of a PhD by Prior Publication. It explores the motivations for my writing, and examines the formative early experiences, and early artistic habits and reading in which my life as a writer are rooted. The thesis is divided into two parts, an essay called ‘Lost Elysium’ and the novel The Elysium Testament. Space, belief, and the irrational form the primary themes which underpin the novel. The introduction to the essay forms an objective tracing of my childhood, teenage years and writing (juvenilia), early adulthood and the course of my literary career, the purpose of this being to establish for the reader the conditions that contributed to my becoming a writer, and also the passage of time in which I gradually realised that I could think of myself as a writer. The other sections of the essay relate to the genesis of the novel, an exploration of interior space and different aspects of the liminal as presented in The Elysium Testament, and an exploration of exterior environments as sites of transformative power and witness.
Mary O’Donnel , Writer , The Elysium Testament , Irish literature , Irish women writers , Creative writing , Irish fiction , Irish poetry , Irish short story , Illness and artistic practice , Lupus , Elation , Space , Liminality , The liminal , Interiors and exteriors
O'Donnell, M. E. 2019. Lost Elysium: space as a metaphor for the liminal in a post-Catholic world. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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