Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Thesis Excerpt: "Towards a Rich, Scholarly Fiction: Cross-disciplinary Synthesis and Practical-scholarly Methods in Fiction Writing as Primary Creative Exploration"

Towards a Rich, Scholarly Fiction: 
Cross-disciplinary Synthesis and Practical-scholarly Methods in
Fiction Writing as Primary Creative Exploration
mykl g sivak
April, 2012
With slides from the conference presentation:
Sivak, Michael, G. Towards a Rich, Scholarly Fiction: Cross-disciplinary Synthesis and Practical-scholarly Methods in Fiction Writing as Primary Creative Exploration. Twelfth Annual Graduate English Conference. Southern Connecticut State University. 2012.

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While traditionally treated as a discipline with processes set apart from the scholarly, the field of creative writing, in actuality, presents the unique opportunity to apply many concepts of both scholarly and creative techniques in a single unified process. Creative writing and scholarly analysis of texts represent two sides of a single coin, the two ends of one process. The writer writes so his words may be analyzed. That analysis may be performed casually by a non-scholarly reader, in terms of craft by a fellow creative writer, or academically by a scholar. The possibilities for various types of reading and analysis are probably endless, as each is personal to the individual. That said, there are certain absolutes inherent to the processes of textual creation and analysis. A part of that set of absolutes is that good writing lends itself particularly toward scholarly consideration, and that scholarly analysis is the end to which all good literary fiction aims. It is a symbiotic relationship. The writer writes to be read. The scholar reads to analyze. In his discussion of the tenets of liberal humanism, Peter Barry writes: “The job of criticism is to interpret the text, to mediate between it and the reader” (Barry 20). This may or may not be true. After all, how does that criticism reach the readership at large? Perhaps, in fact it is the job of criticism is to create secondary texts to supplement and expand the primary materials. At any rate, it is the job of the creative writer to supply the scholar with the texts to be analyzed. One major goal of this paper is to explore the idea that by understanding this relationship between writer and scholar, the creative writer may produce richer, more scholarly fiction, and in fact should write with this end in mind.
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