Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Reader 1

Kimberly Drake

Reader 2

Paul Buchholz

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© 2014 Elisabeth R. Pfeiffer


Through my Creative Non-Fiction Writing thesis, I have attempted to challenge the boundaries of the genre, after D’Agata and the works of other contemporary creative non-fiction writers. However, I have also challenged the boundaries of our own frame for reality that defines the human experience. As I began writing this, I asked myself: can we write about spaces or do we write spaces ourselves, interlacing the city into an imagined space? I didn't realize that I had forgotten the most important question of all: do spaces write us?

These stories are predominantly about my search for “authentic” space, for the “real” city—and I have tried to challenge the idea of authenticity through the style of my writing, in addition to the narratives, lyric essays, and arguments in my thesis.

I’ve lived in six cities over the past five years, and yet, each time, in the end, I return to Munich. There is something about the urban fabric there, a tear I can sense, or perhaps it is inside of me, waiting to be filled. And somewhere along the way, I started to have this idea that I could write about this city, collecting the pieces of my experiences. I was left with a collage of moments, moments of a city that was mine—not knowing that the city is bigger than any of us, a character that cannot be captured by any means. Not knowing the impact the city might have on me.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.