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Griffith Review, 2011, pp. 83 - 91
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Research background The research is in the field of creative writing. Ross Gibson has argued that urban places, seemingly innocent of narrative, offer hidden stories. Peter Doyle has examined police photographs of people to uncover stories about marginalised people. Peter Robb’s work shows that the surroundings in which people live, although appearing ordinary, can have dark corners that affect their characters. The research question for this project is: what techniques best support storytelling in ordinary spaces? Research contribution This work demonstrates that it is by discovering an unexpected representation of identity in the ordinary spaces that stories are set free. An enquiry into a cemetery detours into the silent spaces where people are buried but their monuments and headstones continue to supply story. An investigation into the processes of the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages reveals that official records are unexpectedly ambiguous, and consequently identity is uncertain. The household of a famous dead author proves to be an eerie shrine, his partner living an empty, lonely existence within it. Research significance These projects were accepted for publication by the Black Inc-owned magazine the Monthly, and the refereed journal Griffith Review. One piece was later broadcast on ABC Radio (August 2011) and was the subject of a panel event I was invited to participate in, ‘Such is Life’, conducted by the National Library of Australia (7 September 2011)
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