Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing



First Reader/Committee Chair

Julie Sophia Paegle


Author Peter Schuler discusses his thoughts on how ideas of creativity, literature, and pedagogy helped to develop into his first novel, John Spaghotte of Crumb. Schuler is a native of the Coachella Valley in Southern California and writes from a middle-class appreciation of working and living in an area where everything is catered to the wealthy class. Through personal injury and his experience in undergraduate and graduate studies he fought to develop a healthy critical mind and a grasp as to the true nature of identity. As a result, his riveting debut novel about a young, nerdy California version of Don Quixote becomes a cautionary tale about the dangers of failing to recognize oneself among a world full of materialistic pleasures and grandiose, fictional heroes. In the formulation of his novel Schuler argues that artistic creation, appreciation, study, and the development of a critical scope to see the world with lead to a better understand his own identity while his protagonist suffers from the lack of such a development.