Beyond belief - an exegesis to Roimata: a novel

Younger, Susan Elizabeth
Johnson, Stephanie
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Master of Creative Writing
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Auckland University of Technology

The creative work Roimata is a contemporary novel set in New Zealand in 2010. The action takes place over eight weeks, between a proposal of marriage and a wedding. There is an element of mystery, as a forty-year-old murder story unfolds, but it is primarily literary fiction. Roimata explores the way in which childhood and memory influence our lives and who we become. It reflects on what ‘truth’ might mean and how we construct ‘belief’. Beyond Belief is an exegesis examining the concept of consilience in the novel Roimata. Consilience stems from an ancient Greek school of thought, that there is a unity of knowledge and that all is knowable by logic, as opposed to the mysticism in many cultures, religions and philosophical theories. Beyond Belief looks at some of the ideas about consilience coming from scientists E.O. Wilson and Edward Slingerland, literary theorist Brian Boyd and novelist Ian McEwan, all of whom believe the humanities and sciences can be seen as different ways of exploring the same, knowable truth. It includes some auto-ethnographic reflection on the process of writing Roimata and the way in which recent findings from neuroscience and evolutionary biology influenced the novel.

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