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Type: Theses
Title: 5251
Author: Clarkson, Rebekah Jane
Issue Date: 2015
School/Discipline: School of Humanities
Abstract: The thesis comprises a work of fiction, ‘5251’, in the form of a short story cycle, and an exegesis, ‘The Short Story Cycle and the Representation of a Named Place’. The components of the thesis are intended to mirror Susan Mann’s defining ‘essential characteristic’ of the cycle genre: they are both self-sufficient and interrelated (15). Together, they illuminate and contextualise one another. ‘5251’ locates its thirteen stories within the postcode area of Mount Barker, a regional town on the outskirts of Adelaide, South Australia. Setting is employed as a framing device, as developed by cycle writers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Place is an explicit connection between the stories, but implicit connections are also explored, in the spaces between the stories, to examine contemporary themes including individual isolation and alienation, middle class aspiration, land politics, gender and family. Michelle Pacht’s argument, that the cycle genre’s ‘unique generic makeup’ enables writers to explore and express subtle and subversive ideas (6), informs the creative work and is discussed in the exegesis. The exegesis outlines and interrogates the journey of the short story writer in discovering the extended form offered by the short story cycle, described by James Nagel as the ‘most neglected and misunderstood of the major genres’ (246). It also explores the opportunities and tensions that arrive when a creative writer engages with theories that challenge personal concepts of artistic vision and the realities of the publishing marketplace. Mount Barker can be found on Google Maps but its representation is born from the fictive imagination and engaged with the notion of ‘referential field’, as described by Wolfgang Iser; setting is not only place but also the effect of place (40). The exegesis explores the interplay of ‘space’ and ‘place’ in literary representations that utilise the short story cycle. In this regard, the work of Silvia Ross and Eric Prieto is considered, in so far as they draw upon spatial theorists Lewis Holloway, Phil Hubbard, Bertrand Westphal and Robert T. Tally Jr. in their understandings of representations of place in literature. Geocriticism and textual mapping are also explored. Sherwood Anderson’s rendering of a fictitious town in Winesburg, Ohio (1919) and Belle Boggs’ representation of specific areas in America’s Virginia, in Mattaponi Queen (2010) are both discussed as useful templates for literary representation of place. The exegesis argues that Mattaponi Queen, although marketed as a collection of short stories, is more appropriately read as a short story cycle.
Advisor: Jose, Nicholas
Hosking, Susan Elizabeth
Castro, Brian
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Humanities, 2015.
Keywords: creative writing
short story cycle
short story sequence
contemporary Australian short story
Mount Barker
South Australia
Description: v. 1 [Novel] 5251 -- v. 2 [Exegesis] 5251: the short story cycle and the representation of a named place
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
DOI: 10.25909/5b739236274c5
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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01front.pdfNovel155.71 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
02whole.pdfNovel1.01 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
03front.pdfExegesis124.4 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
04whole.pdfExegesis590.91 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
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