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A Commentary by Kayt Davies

This thesis is presented for the degree of
Master of Philosophy of Murdoch University

Title: Pomegranate Flesh ~ A Creative Manuscript and Commentary.
Year of Submission: 2003
Author: Kayt Davies
Previous degree: Bachelor of Arts with Honours (Psychology)
Edith Cowan University.
Completed 1995


This thesis is presented in two parts. The first is the Pomegranate Flesh manuscript. It was written as a short novel (of approximately 40,000 words) and it is currently being considered by a number of publishing houses. The novel is a modern retelling of the ancient Greek Demeter-Persephone and Narcissus-Echo-Ameinias myth cycles. Set in an ambiguous mythic landscape the story follows the characters through processes relating to adolescent maturation, empty nest syndrome and the search for meaning.

The second part is a commentary that offers a description of the process of writing the manuscript. It begins with an outline of the historic sources of the myth and an introduction to the Jungian perspective on mythology, which posits that myths can serve to bring dangerous and/or uncomfortable psychological states into balance. From there it looks at other commentaries on the psychological relevance of the Demeter/Persephone story and at details within the Pomegranate Flesh manuscript that were written with conscious awareness of their social and cultural implications. The commentary concludes stating that the process of writing Pomegranate Flesh conforms with Bronfenbrenner’s (1995) Systems Model of Human Behaviour, in that it was organic and involved a range of simultaneous influences.

The manuscript was written in the hope that its readers will find it enjoyable and psychologically useful and it is hoped that the commentary will contribute to better understanding of the creative writing process with regard to the retelling of old stories.


I would like to formally thank my supervisor Professor Kateryna Longley for her sage advice and warm support during the writing of this thesis. Dr Jenny de Rueck’s help was also appreciated, as was Suellen Tapsall’s assistance with the process of enrolment and Ursula Thurgate’s efficiency in helping a group of busy women find times to come together.

I am grateful to Wayne Ashton for challenging me to begin in the first place. Thanks also to my friends, Jacqui Karaki, Jamel Osta, Rene Martinson, Rob McGlynn Rodney Vlais, Samantha Tidy and Stewart Jackson who read various drafts of the Pomegranate Flesh manuscript and encouraged me to continue writing, to my father for his proof-reading and to John Kasaipwalova for giving me a sacred space to finish writing the manuscript.

Most of all though, I would like to thank my son Floyd for his patience during the long hours of reading and writing and roaming through libraries that have culminated in this submission. I am also appreciative of the Murdoch University Research Studentship that made this thesis possible.

The road to Hades leads deep down
No matter where you leave from
No-one should mourn death far from home
The water always leads to him

Inscription on an ancient grave stone,
first found in Greece, later found in a travelling collection
called Ancient Lives: Greeks Romans & Etruscans, WA Museum 2000

In the best tellers I know, the stories grow out of their lives like roots grow a tree. The stories have grown them, grown them into who they are. We can tell the difference. We know when someone has grown a story and when the story has grown them. It is the latter that my tradition is about.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes