AustLit logo
Issue Details: First known date: 2018... 2018 Crafting “Literary Sense of Place” : the Generative Work of Literary Place-making
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'This paper examines the how of literary wheres. As makers of literary works, creative writers are tasked with evoking place on the page. While the nexus of place and literature is increasingly recognised as fertile scholarly ground, the specifics of how writers actually “make” literary places remain opaque and under-researched. I seek to address this gap by exploring how literary place is constituted through creative practice. Focusing on the work of Australian writer Tony Birch, I document a range of generative tools creative writers may use to produce what I call “literary sense of place”. Drawing on interview-based case studies and key concepts from human geography, I analyse how these practitioners harness various “off-page” modes of enquiry to evoke place compellingly in textual form. While my main focus is creative practice, I also examine the resultant literary texts to help illuminate how process manifests in content. By profiling a range of “place-oriented experiential techniques (POETs)” – including site visits, memory, direct encounters, sensory attentiveness, “vicarious emplacement”, socio-cultural understandings, and happenstance – I present a fine-grained account of literary place-making from a practitioners’ perspective. I conclude that producing literary place is a generative, cumulative and associative process, in which writers mobilise a rich array of lived sensations, emotions, memories, understandings and actions. In foregrounding these “backstage” modes of creative labour, this paper helps clarify how writers deploy both personal and shared experiences to render literary place in resonant ways.' (Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon JASAL Australian Literature and Place-Making vol. 1 no. 18 2018 14658344 2018 periodical issue

    'Much attention has been given to the representation of place in Australian literature (e.g. Gerster; Darian-Smith, Gunner and Nuttall; Haynes; Cranston and Zeller), but comparably little to this literature’s participation in the production, or making, of place. This special issue brings together scholars working in a field that can be identified by various critical and historical movements in literary and cultural studies which constellate around questions of literature’s intersections with the materiality of place. This field includes literary and cultural geography, psychogeography, critical regionalism, new materialisms, spatial history, and place-making studies. While diverse and dynamic, a commonality across these theoretical and methodological approaches is the understanding of place as an unbounded, non-geographically determined, and relationally constituted, real-world context for practices of living and meaning-making; and the recognition of complex, more than material, and more than human forces, in the ongoing constitution of place.' (Introduction)

Last amended 21 Sep 2018 10:23:48 Crafting “Literary Sense of Place” : the Generative Work of Literary Place-makingsmall AustLit logo JASAL
    Powered by Trove