Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Peter Duval, MFA
Jacqueline Alnes, PhD
Timothy Dougherty, PhD
I envision The Jacobiad, also known as Jacob Jackrabbit Follows a Rainbow, as a fantasy epic rendered in novel form, imbued with Queer overtones. Following the broad sweep of the Hero’s Journey outlined most famously by Joseph Campbell, yet troubling and perhaps revising that formulation with an eye toward current, critically aware audiences, the Jacobiad sees Jacob Jackrabbit befriended and aided by the mystical Butterflies. Jacob, an orphaned hare raised in a colony of white rabbits, becomes engaged in a quest to prevent the blinded Stone King from destroying all the color in the world.
Presented below are three extracts from my current working draft. The first, “The Growing Fields”, is the intended opening portion of the novel, up to Jacob’s first fleeting encounter with Papillon. The title of the next, “In the House of the Sacred Yams”, refers to the earth-centered, pantheistic religion practiced by Jacob’s extended family. Picking up as Papillon introduces Jacob to a cave of mystical color crystals, the section opens Jacob’s world and begins to raise the stakes for his coming adventure.
Finally, the hero must venture on alone. The last extract thus chronicles Jacob’s journey to rescue a treasury of crystals and abducted butterflies, including Papillon, from the Stone King. The queerness of the narrative emerges not least from the symbolic echoes of the rainbow, as well as from Jacob’s intimate connection with Papillon, the butterfly who first recognizes the hero’s potential and lovingly baptizes him into the sensual yet transcendent world of color.
Kertis, Donald "Ian", "The Jacobiad: Extracts from a Queer Fantasy Novel" (2022). West Chester University Master’s Theses. 242.