|dc.description.abstract||This thesis is a process of writing characters using a cyclical methodology to turn the
writer into a reader of their own work, then back into a writer again. The components
of this thesis both practice and propose writing as research and develop a concept of
character that is ‘relational’. Taking Donald Barthelme’s assertion, ‘Writing is a process
of dealing with not-knowing, a forcing of what and how,’ this thesis is attentive to the
uncertainty of process: a process that has accreted knowledge in the form of characters
Making People Up is chronologically structured in order to make visible how its
form was discovered through practice. The first component is a book of character
studies You are of vital importance written in the first year of the PhD. This is followed
by a reflective manuscript of essays which use a method of redescription to render a
generative moment between the completion of one book and the beginning of the next.
The third component is a second book Social Script which is a character study and
a conclusion to the thesis.
Building on Adam Phillips’ assertion, ‘Being misrepresented is simply being
presented with a version of ourselves – an invention – that we cannot agree with. But
we are daunted by other people making us up, by the number of people we seem to
be,’ this thesis starts from the premise that in the everyday we make each other up and
then goes on to use the form of the character study to explore unresolvable tensions
around this process.
Building four parallel propositions: that character is fiction; that a relational
concept of character is a critique of the extent to which we can know each other; that
constituting the writer as a reader of their own characters renders a generative moment
and critical reflection; that oscillating the proximity to and distance from a character
provokes you, the reader, to imagine character as a relationally contingent concept.
The thesis will draw on key concepts by Christopher Bollas and Adam Phillips,
literary discourse on character, reader-response criticism and a selection of literary and
artistic works that have informed this process of writing characters.
1. Does a relational concept of character critique claims to ‘know’ each other?
2. Does replacing interpretation with redescription make a reflective
methodology critical and generative?
3. What kind of narrative structure will constitute a ‘relational’ character study?||en
|dc.publisher||The University of Edinburgh||en
|dc.relation.hasversion||Tripp, Sarah, You Are of Vital Importance, eds. Jane Rolo and Camilla Wills (London: Book Works, 2014).||en
|dc.rights||Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International||*
|dc.title||Making people up||en
|dc.type||Thesis or Dissertation||en
|dc.type.qualificationname||PhD Doctor of Philosophy||en