The jackal's wedding.

Phillips, Nicholas (2014) The jackal's wedding. thesis, University of Wales, Trinity St David.

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Abstract

‘The Jackal’s Wedding’ is the story of Miss Meyer, a psychologically damaged but physically striking woman in her late twenties masquerading as a white Namibian, and her road trip across America and Southern Africa with Joules, one of her three eighteen year old admirers. Following in pursuit for part of the journey is Joules’ concerned father, the bulimic, recently widowed Harry, and Joules’ eight year old step-sister, Mackie. Set in the modern day, and opening in the fictional town of Avonford in the west of England, the story begins with Miss Meyer toying with Joules and his friends Jon and Drayton, tempting them with the opportunity of sharing with her a free, extended holiday abroad. In the days leading up to Miss Meyer and Joules’ departure the fractured lives of the ordinary people of Avonford are revealed, and the mystery of the protagonist morphs into something more worrying as she assaults and robs a male, immigrant bar worker on a canal boat. As the parallel road trips unfold we see the balance of power between Miss Meyer and Joules shift. Despite her greater age and seemingly superior education we soon discover that her carefully choreographed set pieces, the events and learning experiences she organises for Joules on their journey, have the opposite effect to that intended. As Joules begins to understand her present and her past, which includes detention for a physical assault against her mother as a teenager, he begins to feel pity and revulsion, but is never less than beguiled. Harry and Mackie’s pursuit, which owes as much to factors other than fears over Joules’ welfare, comes to an end as they begin to see how they can find a Nick Phillips Student no. : 2011025031 MA Creative Writing CSCW7014 – Dissertation 5 happy fit as father and orphaned step-daughter. Meanwhile, back in Avonford, logistical and moral support is extended across the internet by Jon and Drayton as they assist the pursuit, attempting to pre-empt Miss Meyer’s next moves. During this period, Jon overcomes the loss of his ex-girlfriend D’Arcy to London, reconciles himself with his missed US computer game career and helps his mother address her canine Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy problem. Drayton learns that leverage over others, in particular Harry for a past infidelity, carries a price. Finally, as Miss Meyer and Joules move onto Llandudno in the Western Cape of South Africa and then up to Rehoboth in Namibia, her disguise begins to slip entirely. She is clearly a con-artist and a fantasist and Joules begins to uncover her traumatic childhood and adolescence in Wales. After reaching Namibia, their relationship falls foul of a lack of funds, local anti-abortion laws and a pregnant, depressed Miss Meyer dramatically committing suicide in the sandy wastes of an abandoned German colonial mining outpost. At the end of the novel Joules returns to Avonford traumatised, not so much by Miss Meyer’s death, rather by what he has learned of her life.

Item Type: Thesis (UNSPECIFIED)
Additional Information: Series: Carmarthen / Lampeter Dissertations;.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Creative writing
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: John Dalling
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2014 09:39
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2015 10:14
URI: http://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/336

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