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Title: Wedgewood : a novel extract with exegesis : memory, place and the 'pain of individuality'
Author: Utter, Emily Kathryn
ISNI:       0000 0004 5922 2441
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2016
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Book I of Wedgewood tells the story of two generations of women struggling to define themselves as individuals within the boundaries of a sometimes abusive, strongly patriarchal family. This first half of the novel exposes the distinct and powerful ways that women use language to recall and narrate the past through performative narrative strategies, and it navigates these complex familial relationships through its remote, distinctly Canadian setting, and themes. The first chapter of the exegesis analyses the intersection of memory, identity and trauma in the family. Various narratological interpretations of inherited memory are explored in the context of a patriarchal family dynamic. John McGahern's Amongst Women and Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping are approached in terms of the representational strategies they employ to engage with and illuminate theories of inherited memory, domestic trauma, and the patriarchal family dynamic. Insight into how these texts compare and contrast with my own writing are considered throughout. Chapter Two analyses the formal and structural outcomes of my approach to Wedgewood. My analysis draws on elements of Frank O'Connor's writings on the short story and Alberto Moravia's writings on novel and short story ideologies. Bernhard Schlink's novel, The Reader, and Donna Tartt's novel, The Goldfinch are explored in terms of their uses of voice and tense, and their capacity to self-consciously represent memory in fiction. Jennifer Egan's A Visit From the Goon Squad is discussed in terms of its categorisation as a story cycle, and its influence on Wedgewood's form and structure. Chapter Three builds on the discussion of memory, trauma, and family by analysing their narratological implications through a gendered lens. The subjugation and marginalisation of female voices and narratives within the family are explored against the backdrop of the current socio-political climate. Mikhail Bakhtin's theory of the dialogic figures prominently in the discussion about the novel's 'polyvocality' and its influence on my own writing. The fourth chapter approaches many of the key ideas and methodologies outlined thus far by engaging with notions of 'life writing,' and provides an in-depth reflection on the writing process, including Wedgewood's varied uses of lived experience and family history, and its formal progression from a short story to a novel.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Creative writing