Issue Details: First known date: 2011 2011
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'This paper, part of a series of 'provocations' delivered at a symposium in Hong Kong, covers some of the broader issues in Creative Writing programs within universities in Australia. While higher institutions in Asia are introducing this new discipline, Australian universities need to be vigilant in terms of monitoring how this growth area has affected two substantial fields of knowledge: creative research and literary translation. Before Australian programs try to engage with those in Asia, they need to address some of the systemic uncertainties within their own institutions, such as regarding creative writing as research.

Traditionally, universities and their national governing bodies have viewed Creative Writing as something outside their disciplinary structures. There is still no real definition of how a novel, for example, is considered as 'research'. The exegetical component therefore, has been formed as a 'research arm', giving some critical analysis to what is essentially a literary enterprise. Understandably, this shifts the focus to the cognitive side of the brain, and this entails losses such as framing a reception which may have been much wider without academic self-analysis and referential 'authority'.

My argument is that 'creative writing' is essentially a publishing practice avant la lettre and, as is the case of literary translation, creativity cannot be separated out from the multi-tasking processes of reading, writing, and producing a published work. The new push from Asian universities in introducing this discipline provides a litmus-test in Australia for the grudging acceptance of this very ancient field of the production of literature. The work of art, which has always been the subject of university disciplines, has now become a living practice within a self-contained discipline, combining self-translation, reflectivity, and analysis. When I speak about 'translation' therefore, there is a metaphoric translation in the literary process (for instance, how the text is being perceived by an imaginary reader), and a literal translation in the linguistic process, the latter being more relevant in the teaching of creative writing in Asia.' (Author's abstract)

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Last amended 6 Feb 2012 15:18:59
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