Date of Award

December 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

George Clark

Committee Members

Liam Callanan, Valerie Laken, Gregory Jay, Michael Wilson


Tommy Vollman, Tom Vollman, Tyne Darling


Tyne Darling spent most of his youth dreaming about the saints. They came 15 to a pack with a single stick of stale, pink bubble gum. Their posters hung on his walls, and their pictures—cut from the Sports Illustrated magazines he got from his uncle—were tacked to his cork board and taped above his desk. His saints were Hank Aaron and Oscar Gamble, Carlton Fisk and Tom Seaver. His saints had rocket arms and sweet, smooth swings. They played a game that existed out of time on a sacred square within a circle. His saints were baseball players.

Now, as he grapples with the tentacles of adulthood—what it means to be a father and a partner—he works to unravel the tangled threads of his past and come to terms with his present and future circumstances. He gazes back at mistakes and missed opportunities, cuts through a rambling lack of self-belief, and reaches deep into the marrow of his sprawling ambitions, as he attempts to destroy his vāsanā—inclinations that were formed from past perceptions, experiences, and impressions—and come to terms with what it might be like to actually start anew (Varenne 88). What he finds in his rearview mirror, though, are the same kinds of things that are just beyond his windshield. Then, his friend is killed—suddenly and grotesquely—in the remote desert of Syria. Tyne Darling leans on the saints of his youth—on the stories and mythos of baseball—and upon the memory and threads of connection left by his departed friend, as well as upon his family—his partner, Emma, and son, Cass—as he discovers who he was, who he is, and possibly, who he will be.