Cleaning Out


Marni Valerio

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Lisa Knopp


Two nights ago, I dreamt I was on a rocky, unpopulated island in the Pacific where Paul Theroux set one of his many travel essays. Theroux visited this empty island to “hear” the silence and test some tech equipment: night vision goggles, and a battery-operated telephone and camcorder. A traveling acquaintance was also there to observe the habits of sea turtles. My husband, Dan, inadvertently woke me up when he came into our room, but I was not really awake. I was in that half-dream state that is either blissfully pleasant or horrifying depending on the dream. There I was on the Island. I was alone with the crags of silence and sea turtles. The colors were otherworldly blues and greens, and Dan tells me that I keep trying to convince him that I really was there; perhaps I was.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of English and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts in English University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 2007 Marni Valerio.