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Truths and their telling: a novel with complementary discourses

Hurley, UK 2011, Truths and their telling: a novel with complementary discourses , PhD thesis, Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Comprising a novel and complementary discourses, this thesis blurs the traditional distinctions between critical theory and creative practice, and contributes new insights into the practice, craft, and theory of the contemporary novel. It stages a praxical enquiry in which the creative texts perform a triple function: as original literature, as documents of process, and as critical enquiry. In so doing the texts add to our understanding of how life history and gender influence literary production, and delineate the nexus of fiction/biography/autobiography, both in terms of the individual writer negotiating the matrix of self and other, and in terms of the author in a wider social and historical context. The main apparatus for this investigation is a work of prose fiction that exploits the ability of the novel to sustain a critical exploration while simultaneously delivering a satisfying narrative. It is a composite text that, I will argue, works as historiographic metafiction to dramatise key events in the apparently disparate lives of three women who are separated by historical and social context. The relationship between the three women becomes visible as the narratives gradually reveal their connections. Via this structure, layers of resonance accrue as the themes outlined above are worked through in this fictional space. Alongside the novel, complementary discourses present the poetics that have been developed in its production. They examine the critical and historical context of my work, articulating insights gained into the novelist’s craft, the nature and purpose of the writer's tool kit, and its relationship with the author's life history. The complementary discourses conclude by offering responses to questions about the interactions between gender, genre and creative processes, before proposing future lines of enquiry into the nature and possibilities of the novel.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Graham, R (Supervisor)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Autobiography, historiographic metafiction, gender, history, innovation and experiment, contemporary novel
Themes: Memory, Text and Place
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences
Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
Depositing User: Dr Ursula Hurley
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2011 08:48
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2014 12:45

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