Thomas Kelley

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Gómez-Vega, Ibis, 1952-

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of English


This thesis is a work of fiction. Written in the form of journal entries, it tells the story of the narrator's excursion across an ocean aboard a vessel named The Seariser. A total of six people take this trip; two of them are from a film company and the other four (including the narrator) are experimental musicians. They come from a fictional island continent where their society has isolated themselves from the rest of the world. The year is 153 BCE, yet their society has generated a level of technological sophistication roughly equivalent to the level our society may achieve as of the next century. Seeking to promote the importance of sharing this technological understanding, the film crew enlists the musicians to play spontaneous concerts in various coastal areas of the globe. They hope to capture, on film, positive interactions between the technologically primitive native populations they encounter and the very technical music and instruments of the musicians. The story explores perceptions of social progress concerning technological advancement and its relationship to personal satisfaction with life. The narrator is preoccupied with the cultural value of technology and how his society may incorrectly perceive its neighbors in other areas of the world as simplistic. The story also explores the relationships between the narrator, who is reluctant to take this trip, and the other participants. The narrator discovers life has come to be predictable and longs for the past, when these four musicians played together with regularity. The narrator also recalls a fifth member of their old circle, who appears at the conclusion of the story and finally dashes the narrator's hopes for a return to earlier days.


65 pages




Northern Illinois University

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