Spider's Lane

Central Queensland University Press
Confessions and Memoirs, 2006, 1, pp. 207 - 211
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Spider's Lane is a chapter from my novel-in-progress, Great Western Highway. In traditional novelistic terms, it deals with the novel's love story, as a young Sydney couple comes to grips with the decision to start a family in uncertain economic times, and explores themes of commitment and belonging in contemporary urban contexts. In more theoretical terms, it is an example of a literary figure I am developing, that of the affect sign. Drawing on Deleuze's conception of the representation of affect in Cinema, the chapter harnesses narrative (forward movement), setting, image and lyricism to create a tableau of affective sensation that is particular to novelistic representation. The central theme of Great Western Highway is the penetration of market forces into the social fabric of contemporary Western societies such as Australia. The novel also provides a model of structural innovation that revives experimentation within narrative form in contemporary Australian writing, which has traditionally been entrenched in realist modes. The research methodology of the project was highly interdisciplinary, involving engagements with Thatcherism; corporeal narratology (Punday); theories of the culture industry (Horkheimer & Adorno); the French nouveau roman (Simon); Modernism (Joyce, Celine); and aspects of Postmodernism that deal with popular culture and self-reflexivity in the literary and media fields (Jameson, Warhol). The novel was written with the assistance of three New Work grants from the Literature Board of the Australia Council, and highly commended in the NSW Writers' Fellowship 2000.
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