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Author: Lightman, Ira
ISNI:       0000 0001 3609 9397
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 1996
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This creative writing document, DISABUSE, chronicles the impact of formerly repressed incest memories upon its male writer, just prior to beginning work on the Ph.D. in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of East Anglia. The male writer's interests prior to beginning this work were, among others, Modernism, especially Poundian Modernism, translation from the French, the setting of words to music, using personae, formalism and language games. The impact of the formerly repressed incest memories causes the writer to draw on these as means of articulation, and also quiz them. Have his interests brought him to this pass? Or has he arrived there because they finally failed to keep him from it? If so, have they ironically provided him with means to face it? The document DISABUSE is a collage of four parts. Three of them, "A Progression", "The Little I Can Do" (a song-cycle), and "Non-Fictions", are themselves collages. Each more or less resembles the form of a conventional contemporary poetry collection, being a set of one to five page pieces using different poetic or experimental poetic forms. The other part, "Incest", is a three-section permutation upon the same data, originally composed by improvising onto a spreadsheet computer program for data management, graphs and tables. This collage of collages suggests connections have been made by putting the parts together in the order offered, but this has been by choices sometimes systematic, sometimes intuitive and sometimes arbitrary. This collage form thus reflects the way of seeing childhood (and human growth) that most appeals to the author, as a symbiosis of experiences shaped by belief, intuition and the intervention of other beings and chance. Nevertheless, some distinctions are made; some things are called damaging and unjust, but other things are looked for beside it. Writing such a collage was his way of constructing some kind of honest self-audit, best suited to him. He can hope that the resourcefulness inspires some, the craftsmanship appeals to others. The writer goes a little way to explaining his practice in an afterword, "posttalkscript": an exact transcription of a six hour improvised dictation about DISABUSE (and about writing DISABUSE) composed a year after finishing and shaping the collage. He offers initial insights into both writing and incest recovery gained from the process of writing and coming back to the work after a rest: insights on the role of institutions in encouraging or stalling incest recovery in students experiencing incest symptoms or repressed memory retrieval while also growing and working (other than asking them to withdraw to another place to work solely on healing); insights on the discussion of incest in literary and theoretical work; insights on poetics, and how to make (difficult) poetics seem relevant and analogous to other areas, and them to it. The writer, however, makes no pretence to offering either a system or indeed a systematised social thesis. His principal work has been to produce a creative document and reflect upon it. Despite that document's sometimes contentious and tendentious style, its purpose is not to raise issues and then reflect in a seasoned way upon those issues. That would be sociology, for which the writer is not qualified and is not subjecting himself to examination in order to be qualified. The purpose of the "posttalkscript" is to attempt the difficult work of the writer seeing himself as others might see him, and attempting (not always expertly) to offer a feel of who wrote DISABUSE, so that it be easier to attend to its poetry and writerly endeavour. Part of the writer's character is to feel he is at his best when trying to stir thought, not convert others wholesale to his own thought. DISABUSE shows this part of the writer's character temporarily repressed (to, the writer believes now, its limit) to expose a taste for aggressive didacticism (which can stir thought! ) like that of his some of his own favourite writings, of which he offers readings thought DISABUSE. Both DISABUSE and "posttalkscript" are endnoted, and there is a full bibliography.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Incest