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Wednesday, December 30, 2009
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Sunday, December 20, 2009
While listening to some fabulous, free music by Branco Stoysin in the the foyer of the National Theatre, and waiting for the performance of The Habit of Art, I talked to a local and discovered that not only had we both lived in the same street several years ago but that they are a frequent visitor to Australia and enjoy the same beach as both I and my swimming compatriot above do.
Supposed to go on the Eurostar (I am writing that word in a whisper)tomorrow, but have a feeling all will be well.
Please go to my website for a review of The Habit of Art.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Although challenging to define, in a broad sense Fictocriticism is an experimental genre of writing which, like an essay, tries to make an argument but also tells a story at the same time.It draws attenton to issues which need to be addressed by looking at cultural practices, then using a first person narrator relates how these practices are experienced.
Is this, subsconsciously, what I tried to do when writing the most recent piece for my novel? I used a first person narrator to introduce the male character in my book and to tell his 'story': his experiences growing-up as a Uyghur in China, which naturally touched upon issues of political and religious oppression; his entry to University just before 9/11 and the effects of that incident on him and his people; his goal to study overseas, and not least his perspective on his relationship with a Western girl. Previous to this I had only been writing pieces for the book from the female protagonist's pov. Although this piece still needs a lot of reworking, I have a bubbling of hope that I may be on the right track in choosing to tell his story this way.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Sometimes I think perhaps I should have dedicated this blog to flower arranging – it does seem to feature a lot - but yesterday’s effort (pictured left) merits a mention.
You may notice that of the three lengths of bamboo, which were sawn off by a particularly lethal implement, one is actually outside the vase. To do this it was necessary to secure the three bamboo pieces together with raffia wire. There was a method in this madness, however, as it not only created a quirky effect but served a valid function, i.e. it stabilised the whole arrangement.
As usual I started to think how this concept could be applied to writing – I mean you can have paintings and digital photos where a part of the picture protrudes outside of the frame for particular effect, such as a golf club in full swing or the head of a cute little puppy. I then came across this article on the net by Lisbeth Rieshøj Pedersen on frame-breaking in the works of the Jewish writer Raymond Federman, whose novels I have read. Experienced writers and critics will be aware of this strategy of frame breaking but I wasn’t or didn’t know it was called that.
- the sublimely ridiculous such as self-portrait with an ice-cream cone on nose – as he said what else would you do with such an item
- irreverent and often risqué pop art - sometimes mocking the relationship between Australia and New Zealand, the Crown, and making political but very humanist statements, to
- portraits and fine landscapes.
When he signed his biography for me with his highly unusual signature, he added a quip ‘Stop being naughty!’ which completely floored me.
For a review of his biography, The Mind and Times of Reg Mombassa, written by fellow painter, writer and former literary editor of The Australian, Murray Waldren, please go to my website.