Conflict and Themes: The main conflict within my novel is freedom vs. oppression. Provoking life’s philosophical and moral quandaries via subtle, unsubtle and enigmatic means, free-will and clarity-of-mind clash against an assortment of oppressors (as perceived by the characters): the Nazis’ Socialist regime, Alzheimer’s disease, religious dogma, marriage, the institutionalized hospital structure, addictions, depression, suicide, societal norms and family traditions.
Water and Joyce’s Ulysses novel are highly symbolized throughout, exhibiting a paradoxical nature as both oppressor and liberator. Many of the stand-out episodic themes within Joyce’s book are utilized sporadically throughout the TLC scenes, both inconspicuously and in more obvious manners as a nod to Ulysses – a book that has been labeled as an exercise of madness and brilliance in becoming one of the most important works of Modernist literature.
Note on novel’s levels of intrigue: [excerpt from novel’s Preface] “One intention was embedded firmly in my mind as I was organizing the layout for this adventure: incorporating a labyrinth of intriguing layers and veiled complexities within a storyline that would be pleasurable to read. (My affection for the Beatles was the catalyst for this. I have a large appetite for the enigmatic arrangements buried within many of their songs.) An enigma of sorts – from cryptic numbers and shrewdly arranged anagrams to dual meanings and hidden symbolism. It would be a maze intricately woven throughout, allowing for multiple interpretations, literary forensics, and much reflection.”
International Flavour: Half the novel resides in a U.S. hospital while the other half resides in Ireland, England, the Philippines and France with a labyrinth of enigmatic arrangements, universal themes, parallels and symbolic nods relating to such areas as Ulysses, The Beatles, Edgar Allan Poe, Edith Piaf, Carl Perkins, The Templar Knights (among other icons and pop cultural items throughout), water, freedom, oppression – to name a few… while bringing universal afflictions (depression, Dementia, Alzheimer’s) to the forefront.