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Title: 'Who Do You Love'? : the novel of my life (creative writing thesis) ; and, Building beauty : the role of aesthetic education in my teaching and writing lives (commentary on the creative writing thesis)
Author: Gilbert, Francis Jonathan
ISNI:       0000 0004 5369 0201
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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The first part of the thesis is the autobiographical novel, Who Do You Love? It is narrated in the first person by Francis, a fictionalised representation of the author. The novel tells the story of how Francis is sacked as a journalist and then a little later learns that his former-lover, Ellida, has died. These traumatic events prompt Francis to remember his past life with Ellida and induce, in the present day, a crisis in his marriage to Hadley, a school teacher. His failure to get a new job and his grief at Ellida’s death result in a crisis of confidence which is exacerbated when Hadley becomes interested in another man. As he discovers more about Ellida’s family, his situation grows even more complex and conflicted. Throughout the novel, all the main characters have to address the question posed in its title. The novel is accompanied by an educational commentary which reflects deeply upon the author’s writing processes and the possible application of the lessons learnt in the author’s teaching and writing careers. The commentary shows how the author has found it helpful to think of himself primarily as an “aesthetic learner” rather than a writer or teacher. The commentary discusses various issues connected with aesthetic education and then shows what happened when the author put the principles of aesthetic education into practice in his own classroom teaching. Four case studies – the author’s own pupils -- are analysed in detail: two eleven-year-olds and two fifteen-year-olds. They were asked to write their own “aesthetic autobiographies” – autobiographical accounts which deploy the devices of fiction – and then were interviewed regarding their thoughts and feelings about this project. The commentary suggests that the case studies reveal some important things about their lives and situations, and shows that there are possible educational and therapeutic benefits in projects such as these.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available