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Issue Details: First known date: 2009... no. 5 April 2009 of TEXT Special Issue Website Series est. 2000 TEXT Special Issue Website Series
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Proceedings of the Art of the Real: National Creative Non-fiction Conference, Newcastle University, May 2008. Contents indexed selectively.


* Contents derived from the 2009 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Introduction: The Art of the Real, Keri Glastonbury , Rosalind Smith , 2009 single work criticism
'This edited special issue of TEXT is derived from papers originally presented at The Art of the Real: National Creative Non-fiction Conference, organised by Kim Cheng Boey, Keri Glastonbury and Ros Smith of Newcastle University's Writing Cultures research group in May, 2008.' (Author's abstract)
Beautiful Lies My Father Told Me, Linda Neil , 2009 single work criticism
''There are two kinds of tales, one true and one false,' Socrates proposes to Adeimantus in the course of exploring the proper place of literature in The Republic (1935: 376). In this short paper, I will explore Socrates' proposition in the context of family storytelling, in particular in the case of my recently completed family memoir, Learning How to Breathe, which contains many instances of family storytelling. Some of these tales turned out to be true; some of them turned out to be false. And some of them turned out to be falsehoods that revealed a hidden truth. In order to investigate the sometimes blurred lines between what is true and what is false, I will examine one family story in particular; this family story was told - or, in this case, performed - by my father. To shed light on aspects of lies and truth that are revealed through a close reading of this story, as well as other issues of family storytelling that needed to be addressed while writing a family memoir, I will draw on the work of John Forrester, in particular Truth Games, as well as the work of Langellier and Peterson and Elizabeth Stone regarding family storytelling.' (Author's abstract)
'Do You Mind if I Invent You?' : Ethical Questions in the Writing of Creative Non-fiction, David Carlin , 2009 single work criticism
'It is a tricky business, creative non-fiction. I have been writing a memoir investigating the life and death of my father, and the impact of that death upon my family. The memoir explores the silence surrounding the death within the particular cultural circumstances of conservative isolated Western Australia in the 1960s; how the horror and violence of the suicide and the shame of the years of mental illness that preceded it overwhelmed the capacity of those most directly affected to bring them into language. In writing the book, I have been forced to negotiate the ethical dilemmas faced when other peoples' stories intersect with one's own. Moreover I have tried to reveal rather than obscure within the fabric of the text, what I see as the inevitable intrusions of the narrator's desire; elements of invention within and on the edges of the testimony. Such a narrative strategy can only hope to engage transparently with the ethical dilemmas involved, since these cannot be neatly resolved, not even when institutional structures such as university Human Ethics Committee processes are deployed.' (Author's abstract)
What Shall It Profit, If I Write a Spanking Good Story but Lose My Soul?, Alexis Harley , 2009 single work criticism

The author of an autobiography advances one account of her life, an account that she wills, a deliberate construction-interpretation-representation of her identity. But at the same time, automatically, unconsciously, without noticing, in a moment of distraction, she slips her fingers in and out of her reticule. She omits to mention a significant event. He abuses the apostrophe. The passive voice is used by her, repeatedly. These stylistic tics, messages performed by the body of the text, speak to the autobiography's reader, enable the reader to guess at the author's mental life, the discourses she's dwelt amongst, practised, failed to practise. They enable this sometimes in spite of what the autobiographer intends to reveal. Where we read in order to apprehend an author's identity, everything that the author does or omits to do is a relevant semantic clue.' (Author's abstract)

Essaying the Self : Ethnicity, Identity and the Fictocritical Essay, Danuta Raine , 2009 single work criticism
The Essay As, Astrid Lorange , 2009 single work criticism
'As I start to write this paper, my notes lie stretched out in a long poem of language shifts and comparisons: essay-as-wager, essay-as-puzzle, essay-as-notation, essay-as-conversation, essay-as-meditation. It is in this act of comparison, the 'as' moment, that we begin, again and again, to think about the essay form. Its 'as-ness' suggests that the essay is not a singular discursive mode but a set of modes, at once many things and many opportunities. The essay practises thinking-while-writing, a compositional process that moves knowledge forward to the limits of its language, in language.' (Author's abstract)
The Lingering Fog of Childhood, Maria Freij , 2009 single work criticism
'This paper explores the relationship between the image and the truthful representation of self, landscape, and memory for Swedish, particularly expatriate, poets. The prevalence of childhood imagery in the works of Swedish poets Lars Gustafsson and Tomas Tranströmer - and in my own work - is discussed in its relation to landscapes past. Writing to salvage moments, images, people, and selves from oblivion is likely to involve some form of revisionism, to permit some fictionalising of the past. This allows for the other truth to be spoken, the emotional truth rather than the historical one. In the autobiographical space and time of the writing, moments are relived and outcomes enunciated which could not have occurred at the time. Few would argue that a truth is universal after postmodernism, but even fewer, perhaps, would care to admit to lying. This paper explores how the image permits a poem to function as a metaphor in which slivers of truth come together. In the space and time of the poem, empirical and emotional truths can coexist.' (Author's abstract)
Writing 'Amye Duddley': Seeking Clues in Books, Bones and Stones, Catherine Padmore , 2009 single work criticism
'This paper explores some of the processes of literary detection involved in creating a fictional account of an historical figure, including seeking archival clues, examining existing fictional portrayals and locating my own position from which to write about the story.' (Author's abstract)
Up the Highway to Campus Optus, Jane Messer , 2009 single work criticism
'What happens to a person when they work in the environment of pervasive risk and change that characterises the new capitalist enterprise? These transnational, globalised, and networked enterprises are a defining element in what is variously termed by social scientists and others from the humanities as 'high modernity' and the 'late modern age' (Giddens), the 'informational age' (Castells), and the 'global age' and 'new capitalist age' (Sennett). Many of us work in such organisations, and for this reason it has been my interest to ask, how might a writer of narrative engage with the contemporary impacts of risk and change on individuals?.' (Author's abstract)
Memory, Voice, Occasion, Martin Edmond , 2009 single work criticism
'A central curiosity of the Western tradition, rooted in Greek thought, is the habit of invoking the muse or muses at the inauguration of a work. Who were or are the muses? What do we know about them and how are we to understand them today? Homer speaks indiscriminately of the muse and the muses and doesn't name them; Hesiod says they are nine, naming all, though without giving them the specific attributes common only since the Renaissance, and is explicit about just one, Calliope, whose name means 'beauty of voice' (Skarsouli 2006: 212). The nine, he says, are the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, or memory - one of those 'abstract ladies' (Kirk 1974: 118) of Greek thought.' (Author's abstract)

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