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Title: Stories rubbing shoulders in the dark : dialogics and the fiction of Michèle Roberts
Author: Stannard, Luanda
ISNI:       0000 0001 3477 6585
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis aims to investigate the distinctions between collaborative and individual writing through the fiction of Michèle Roberts as it has developed over the past thirty years. Discussing an aspect of Roberts' writing practice which has been largely overlooked by commentators on her work, this study considers her involvement in a writing collective in the mid-seventies before going on to consider her 'individual' work. Arguing against the perception of Roberts' work as one which follows a trajectory from collective to individual, and instead offering a view which questions these categories as absolutes, this study examines the dialogic capacity of Roberts' writing and sees her work as responses to other texts in collaboration with other contemporary feminist writers. Section one considers aspects of collaboration, firstly setting in place the theoretical concerns which underpin this study. It then goes on to explore collective practices in the context of the Women's Liberation Movement in order to place in its historical context the openly collaborative writing practices explored by the group which produced Tales I Tell My Mother. Drawing on a range of both published and unpublished material this group is then considered in detail as the base from which Roberts emerged as an important feminist writer. Section two examines the continuing thematic dialogues between this group's members, but also situates these as responses to the 'word of the fathers': that is as responses to patriarchal accounts of 'femininity' and women's lives as constructed in the narratives of religion, myth and history. These responses are observed, however, as also in dialogue with contemporary feminist theory, for example that of Luce Irigaray and Julia Kristeva. Section three focuses on Roberts as 'individual' author rather than part of any specific 'collaborative' partnership, yet continues to argue for a collaborative aspect to her work. Through a close reading of two of her novels this reading demonstrates the need for 'others' in the production of meaning and for the deconstructing of hierarchized binary oppositions through dialogue in order to encourage a redistribution of power which may be attentive to 'other' voices.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available