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Title: The creative writer in the public sphere
Author: Aherne, Mary
Awarding Body: University of Hull
Current Institution: University of Hull
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis provides an analysis of the creative writer in contemporary Britain, using both literary and cultural theory to define and understand the roles available to the writer. It explores how these roles are interpreted by writers. The thesis offers new research and insights into the scope of current patronage practices, examines how the writer engages with these new roles, and assesses the potential impact on the writer, the reader and literature. Based on research conducted in the UK, this thesis focuses on four major contexts: the writer in residence, the prize culture, the literary festival, and the writer in the blogosphere. It considers how the writer’s role has been reconstructed in different social and cultural contexts. In addition, this study highlights writers’ perception of their public role and their position in society; the multiple and complex power relations inherent in these roles; the increasingly public presence of the writer; the reader-writer relationship, and the impact on the literature produced. Reflecting my own literary interests and practices, it focuses on the work and experiences of poets and novelists, rather than on those of dramatists and non-fiction writers. This study contributes to the as yet limited body of research into contemporary patronage practices. Furthermore, the thesis contributes to the historicising and theorisation of the creative writer which links the individual experience of writers with social and cultural structures and processes, making reference to the theories of Theodor Adorno, Roland Barthes, Pierre Bourdieu, Terry Eagleton and Jürgen Habermas. The research sheds light on the writer’s struggle to maintain a balance between gainful employment and creativity while negotiating the complex power relations that affect their literary output and their socio-cultural relations with patron and public.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: English