The choice of subject or theme, “A Consideration of Artistic Truth”, for the dissertation and the parallel poetic endeavour is discussed in detail in the “Background” section of the dissertation later. Suffice it to say here that it has come out of my experience and knowledge of poetry and literature and the writers whose work has influenced and inspired me, my personal situation and motivation for writing at that moment, my past experiences - successes and failures – and the reason for the crossroads I felt I was at in terms of the need for change and direction in writing. The thesis begins with a selection of poems all of which were written and workshopped during the postgraduate MA in Creative Writing programme in WIT as part of the structure of the course. Feedback from my supervisors and fellow students in the workshop class, whose invaluable suggestions have no doubt influence the rewriting process, sometimes forms part of the reflection in the dissertation. Though naturally they are not responsible for any mistakes or errors in judgment I might make about my own work. I have written the dissertation in the form of a “reflective journal”. I wrote it between September 2007 and March 2009; keeping a notebook in longhand as a way of developing an awareness and insight into the creative process in my writing. My hope was that this approach to the thesis, that is the creative work combined with a reflection on the creative process, would both bring me to a deeper awareness and exploration of the theme and that it would also be important for me to see and reflect on how, what, and where this seeking for artistic truth would bring to the process of writing a new body of poetic work. I am conscious that I am sharing here some of my raw creative material. To this end, I decided to include some of the poems or early drafts in the text, so as to make them immediately relevant and accessible to the flow and discussion of my thesis, when and if that happened. Obviously, all my writing is not relevant to the main thrust of the thesis, but where major changes or departure points are marked in the discovery process of writing, these are illustrated by the work it produced. Looking back over the work of the past two years and the work on the Reflective Journal in particular, certain observations are better made now. The discipline of keeping a reflective journal did prove challenging from the point of view of controlling the spontaneity and avoiding reworking as much as possible apart from editing. Where a theme such as a discussion of another writer’s work became interesting to me, then the framework for the research and the reflective writing on it tended to take up the same timeframe, as experienced in “real” journal writing. Sometimes, the poetic work came first and the reflection later or vice versa. This allows the reader to see sometimes as much if not more than I see, as I have not drawn conclusions in a way which will make my reflection mean only what I want it to mean. Overall, the Consideration on Artistic Truth consists of subtle insights which came only after I had begun to discover, if only at an intuitive level, how my writing process works. This can be seen possibly in the way in the Journal it brings me back to reflecting on some of my earlier work, and discussing related matters such as giving and attending readings, and the politics of reviewing work. In that way I am repeatedly reconsidering and making new connections with the theme, perhaps in the light of new reading, discussions with fellow writers and classmates, and then coming to a new synthesis which explains the writing process over and over again.
|Publication status||Submitted - 2009|