y What I Have Written single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 1993... 1993
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Adaptations

form y What I Have Written John Scott , Melbourne : Early Works , 1995 Z126531 1995 single work film/TV

What I Have Written explores masculinity, spectatorship, and the pornographic imagination. After Christopher Houghton suffers a stroke from which he is not expected to recover, his wife Sorel Atherton receives the manuscript of a novella written by her husband and 'leaked' to her by her husband's friend and university colleague, Jeremy Fayrfax. Sorel finds in these pages evidence of a life betrayed. While Christopher Houghton stares speechless and uncomprehending from his death bed, Fayrfax seeks a moment of truth.

Notes

  • Teaching notes available with sound recording.
  • Epigraph: Between one book and the next, there is the empty space of a missing book, linked with we do not know which of the two. We shall call it The Book of Torment, appertaining to both. Edmond Jabes, The Book of Shares
  • Other formats: Also sound recording.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Ringwood, Ringwood - Croydon - Kilsyth area, Melbourne - East, Melbourne, Victoria,: McPhee Gribble , 1993 .
      Extent: 229p.
      Written as: John A. Scott
      ISBN: 0869143042 (pbk.)
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      W. W. Norton , 1994 .
      Alternative title: What I Have Written : A Novel
      Extent: 229p.
      ISBN: 0393036839
    • Ringwood, Ringwood - Croydon - Kilsyth area, Melbourne - East, Melbourne, Victoria,: Penguin , 1996 .
      Extent: 229p.
      ISBN: 0140261990
Alternative title: Wat ik heb geschreven
Language: Dutch
    • Amsterdam,
      c
      Netherlands,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Bakker , 1995 .
      Extent: 157p.
      ISBN: 9035115171

Works about this Work

Dance of the Emotional Void Xavier Pons , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Messengers of Eros : Representations of Sex in Australian Writing 2009; (p. 119-138)

'In the literature of the last few decades depiction of sex have become commonplace. The old taboos which made any allusion to these matters something daring or transgressive have disappeared, to the extent that the reader is surprised, and perhaps a little disappointed, when he or she fails to find any sexual descriptions in the novel. It would appear that the characters have as few inhibitions when it comes to having sex as the writers when it comes to describing it.' (p. 119)

Sex and Literature Xavier Pons , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Messengers of Eros : Representations of Sex in Australian Writing 2009; (p. 61-80)

'In the arts generally and in literature in particular, depictions of sex are never a mere representation of life-they are more like a substitute for it, an alternative to it. They often express desires which cannot find fulfilment in reality, and thus are entrusted to the imagination by which, for all their 'baser' nature, they are turned, or sublimated, into something more acceptable to society, something that can appear on a canvas or a sheet of paper and relieve the artist's, as well as the viewer's frustration.' (p. 61)

Transgressions Xavier Pons , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Messengers of Eros : Representations of Sex in Australian Writing 2009; (p. 39-59)

'All serious art breaks the rules-there can be no innovation without some form of transgression. Yet the breaking of rules is not enough to produce serious art, and while the very focus of erotic writing seems to invite transgressions, these are not necessarily liberating or creative. When transgressions lie for the most part in the subject-matter, their translation into literary break-throughs is problematic, and they can in fact be undermined by writing that is bland, conventional and predictable. Literature, it bears perhaps repeating, is not the thing itself but a representation and thus a re-creation of it. Modes of representations are always ideologically loaded and, while the contemporary period has invented very little in terms of sexual practices, it has been able to innovate significantly in terms of representational practices. It remains to be seen what kind of articulation can be found between the two.' (p 39)

Writer's Block : Sex and the Writer Dianne Dempsey (interviewer), 1998 single work interview
— Appears in: The Age , 13 June 1998; (p. 8)
Berlin Hails Hughes Andrew McCathie , 1996 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 20 February 1996; (p. 16)
Untitled Con Castan , 1994 single work review
— Appears in: Social Alternatives , April vol. 13 no. 1 1994; (p. 57-58)

— Review of Fury Maurilia Meehan 1993 single work novel ; What I Have Written John Scott 1993 single work novel ; Australian Short Stories 1982 periodical (65 issues)
One Revolution Turns the Clock Back 200 Years Dennis Davison , 1993 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 7-8 August 1993; (p. rev 5)

— Review of Full House : A Novel Penelope Hanley 1993 single work novel ; Fury Maurilia Meehan 1993 single work novel ; What I Have Written John Scott 1993 single work novel
Novels Focus on Obsession Veronica Sen , 1993 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 7 August 1993; (p. C9)

— Review of One Way Mirrors Lyn Hughes 1993 single work novel ; What I Have Written John Scott 1993 single work novel
Cold-Blooded Lust Alan Wearne , 1993 single work review
— Appears in: Overland , Spring no. 132 1993; (p. 82-83)

— Review of What I Have Written John Scott 1993 single work novel
Forecasts Jennifer Cooke , 1993 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Bookseller & Publisher , May vol. 72 no. 1037 1993; (p. 28)

— Review of What I Have Written John Scott 1993 single work novel
Hughes Rides High on Serious Wave Mark Naglazas , 1996 single work column
— Appears in: The West Australian , 19 September 1996; (p. 5)
Transgressions Xavier Pons , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Messengers of Eros : Representations of Sex in Australian Writing 2009; (p. 39-59)

'All serious art breaks the rules-there can be no innovation without some form of transgression. Yet the breaking of rules is not enough to produce serious art, and while the very focus of erotic writing seems to invite transgressions, these are not necessarily liberating or creative. When transgressions lie for the most part in the subject-matter, their translation into literary break-throughs is problematic, and they can in fact be undermined by writing that is bland, conventional and predictable. Literature, it bears perhaps repeating, is not the thing itself but a representation and thus a re-creation of it. Modes of representations are always ideologically loaded and, while the contemporary period has invented very little in terms of sexual practices, it has been able to innovate significantly in terms of representational practices. It remains to be seen what kind of articulation can be found between the two.' (p 39)

Sex and Literature Xavier Pons , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Messengers of Eros : Representations of Sex in Australian Writing 2009; (p. 61-80)

'In the arts generally and in literature in particular, depictions of sex are never a mere representation of life-they are more like a substitute for it, an alternative to it. They often express desires which cannot find fulfilment in reality, and thus are entrusted to the imagination by which, for all their 'baser' nature, they are turned, or sublimated, into something more acceptable to society, something that can appear on a canvas or a sheet of paper and relieve the artist's, as well as the viewer's frustration.' (p. 61)

Dance of the Emotional Void Xavier Pons , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Messengers of Eros : Representations of Sex in Australian Writing 2009; (p. 119-138)

'In the literature of the last few decades depiction of sex have become commonplace. The old taboos which made any allusion to these matters something daring or transgressive have disappeared, to the extent that the reader is surprised, and perhaps a little disappointed, when he or she fails to find any sexual descriptions in the novel. It would appear that the characters have as few inhibitions when it comes to having sex as the writers when it comes to describing it.' (p. 119)

Scott Finds Place in Front Line of Fiction Mark Naglazas , 1996 single work criticism
— Appears in: The West Australian , 8 August 1996; (p. 5)
Last amended 15 Dec 2014 17:02:58
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