Immolation and critical document

Corless, Edward (2021). Immolation and critical document. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Immolation is a creative text comprised of 58 numbered fragments of dialogue between an unnamed author and editor. Their conversations take place over an extended period as the pair describe and discuss their middle-agedness, whilst the author attempts to create pieces of fiction which the editor critically assesses, and the editor talks about their faltering marriage. The text culminates in an extended story written by the author about a dysfunctional family, which the editor then provides commentary on. The fragments are less structured than a traditional novel and are presented as an intertwined and unconstrained creative experiment. The conversational estrangement and undefined medium of discourse between the author and editor provides a statement on modern relationships and forms of dialogue in contemporary life.

The critical document is comprised of two sections. The first is a series of fragmentary essays concerning my critical research as it relates to Geoff Dyer’s Out of Sheer Rage, a book which describes Dyer’s attempts to write about D. H. Lawrence. As with the creative piece, the section deals with themes of interactivity between pieces of work, experimentations in form, and authorial and editorial insertions as they relate to a finished critical piece. The argument, which is intertwined with and responds to Dyer’s analysis, is that the process of writing can itself become a “means of continuing”, and that there is hope and meaning in the dark patches of the process. The second section is a personal manifesto comprised of motivational writing-related quotations from a variety of sources, taking its major inspiration from Reality Hunger: A Manifesto by David Shields. The text draws on the themes of developing a healthy writing practice.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and Creative Studies, Department of Film and Creative Writing
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PR English literature


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