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Deferring the 'main' point: Teaching 'narrative desire' as an alternative creative practice

Conference Paper


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Abstract


  • This paper examines the place of twentieth-century literary theory in Creative Writing

    pedagogy. It suggests that literary theory has become embedded in Creative Writing

    programs, despite the fact that many theories seem opposed to the concept of the

    author or to writing practice. It proposes that if we are to use these theories

    productively, we need to adapt both the theories themselves and our teaching

    practices.

    The paper outlines the ways in which I—in my teaching in the School of Journalism

    and Creative Writing, University of Wollongong—have approached the teaching of

    two post-structuralist psychoanalytic concepts: Brooks’ notion of ‘narrative desire’

    and Barthes’ concept of the ‘dilatory space’. ‘Narrative Desire’ is a reading practice

    that values deferral and displacement over fixed structure; to focus on the ‘dilatory

    space’ is to value the middle rather than the end of a narrative, to emphasise delays,

    digressions and deferrals rather than resolutions. I argue that these theories can be

    productive for writers as well as readers. The paper offers ways to apply the theories

    to creative practice, using ‘enminding’, an authentic learning approach: to harness

    what Clayton calls ‘desire as a creative force’ (Clayton 1989, 35).

Publication Date


  • 2009

Citation


  • Lobb, J. M. "Deferring the ''main'' point: Teaching ''narrative desire'' as an alternative creative practice." Conference of the Australian Association of Writing Programs. Ed. D. Brien & M. Freiman. Guyra, Australia: AAWP Press, 2009. 1-11.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1223&context=creartspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/creartspapers/215

Start Page


  • 1

End Page


  • 11

Place Of Publication


  • Guyra, Australia

Abstract


  • This paper examines the place of twentieth-century literary theory in Creative Writing

    pedagogy. It suggests that literary theory has become embedded in Creative Writing

    programs, despite the fact that many theories seem opposed to the concept of the

    author or to writing practice. It proposes that if we are to use these theories

    productively, we need to adapt both the theories themselves and our teaching

    practices.

    The paper outlines the ways in which I—in my teaching in the School of Journalism

    and Creative Writing, University of Wollongong—have approached the teaching of

    two post-structuralist psychoanalytic concepts: Brooks’ notion of ‘narrative desire’

    and Barthes’ concept of the ‘dilatory space’. ‘Narrative Desire’ is a reading practice

    that values deferral and displacement over fixed structure; to focus on the ‘dilatory

    space’ is to value the middle rather than the end of a narrative, to emphasise delays,

    digressions and deferrals rather than resolutions. I argue that these theories can be

    productive for writers as well as readers. The paper offers ways to apply the theories

    to creative practice, using ‘enminding’, an authentic learning approach: to harness

    what Clayton calls ‘desire as a creative force’ (Clayton 1989, 35).

Publication Date


  • 2009

Citation


  • Lobb, J. M. "Deferring the ''main'' point: Teaching ''narrative desire'' as an alternative creative practice." Conference of the Australian Association of Writing Programs. Ed. D. Brien & M. Freiman. Guyra, Australia: AAWP Press, 2009. 1-11.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1223&context=creartspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/creartspapers/215

Start Page


  • 1

End Page


  • 11

Place Of Publication


  • Guyra, Australia