Tag Archives: thesis

Hey V, what is that crazy color wheel thing you sometimes mention???

Okay, so I’m packing for Auburn Writers Conference (why yes, I did JUST get back from Boise, and this is the busiest. month. EVER), and I wanted to take a sec and re-post something from way way back, mostly because I like it and have been thinking about it a lot.

I talk online now and again about my senior thesis (2009) and my intention to go back for a PhD in literature (specifically archetype, folklore, and fairy tale). Mostly I talk about my incredible ability to put off the application to graduate school every. single. year (this will be the third year).


Now and then, I mention, or someone else mentions, THE ARCHETYPAL COLOR WHEEL aka the crux of my senior thesis, and because I haven’t shown it recently, and because I’m about to make it into a poster and possibly a t-shirt, I thought I’d repost it.

THIS is my archetypal color wheel:

It’s basically a map of Campbell’s classic archetypes grafted onto a fundamental color, which allows for the analogizing and all kinds of fun yet accessible interpretation.

I’ve been thinking about the project a lot lately, 1. because it’s that time of year where I briefly consider applying to doctoral programs, then have a good laugh and carry on, and 2. because I’ve been putting together the material for a course I’m workshop I’m teaching this weekend on fairy tale archetypes, which are really a modified version/subcategory of the classic ones above.

ANYWHO, something shiny to distract you from the fact I’ve been terribly remiss in posting bookish things…


panic, pilates, and other random thing

* About to head to pilates, because I had to do SOMETHING that didn’t involve studio. I’m also going to Vagina Monologues later. Everything between = studio. Is it May yet?! But oh god no, I don’t want to graduate. But oh ear I NEED to be done with this. Agh there is no win!

* I’m at 10,000 words in NEAR WITCH. As you might know by now, I suffer from polish-as-I-go syndrome, a terrible counter-productive drafting disease. But I’m determined to get a full draft of this story, and *then* go back and spruce it up. Crazy!

*My hate for my major has reached a new level. This is most likely due to the fact that I have to create 88 more designed and written pages…by MONDAY. *dies* I want to panic so hard but I can’t because I don’t have time. Still, as you might have gathered from previous post and glimpses at the thesis, the concept is not exactly trivial. Eep.

*I swear the parking lot at my art school is like the room of requirement. There are only ever as many spaces as there are people searching for them. When one car enters the lot, there’s one spot. So when a car jumped into the lot in front of me yesterday, I thought I was screwed. But there were magically TWO spaces. I swear, it’s magical. (Well, at least it makes you feel lucky).

* The names of my playlists right now: Drive Yourself Sane. Sanity During Seminar. Music I Need Right Now. Help Me Write My Thesis. Hmm, I see a theme? If you have any music you think might help me stave off panic for the next 48 hours, PLEASE tell me.

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Thesis Glimpse: Integrating Art and Literature

I need to create a solid color wheel analogy for my seminar project.

Essentially, I’m saying that the archetypes (mentor, herald, guardian, trickster, shadow, shapeshifter) are hues. The Hero and Villain are white and black respectively, and the archetypes are either heroically tinted or antagonistically shaded depending on whether they’re emerging from/influenced by the Hero or Villain.

All of the above (Hero, Villain, and all secondary archetypes, are aspects of the Self, the whole, which is in this case the Color Wheel. The Self contains all possible forms, all potential combinations of color and light and shadow.

Historically Joseph Campbell viewed the archetypes as aspects of the Hero. The Villain was lumped in with the Shadow, and the idea was that if all the archetypes re-combined, the result would be the Hero.

My theory is that, as portrayed above, the Hero and Villain deserve equal footing in the equation, and that the archetypes are aspects, but not of the Hero. They are aspects of the Self. The Self, being the framework, never manifests as its own character in the story, as opposed to the Hero, who does….

Welcome to my life right now, and a fraction of the reason I’m panicking.