How influence works

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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. Access is restricted indefinitely. ----- This thesis is a creative and reflective work examining the idea of influence in a writer’s life. We often hear of one writer influencing another - this thesis is a new approach to the idea, suggesting and demonstrating that influence, while present, is not always apparent in a writer’s creative work. The thesis contains three sections; the first, an exegesis entitled How Influence Works. This discusses the various roles of influence in a fiction writer’s life, tracing the effect of lifelong reading on new fiction, and introducing the notion of a ‘conversation’ in which all published writers, living and dead, participate. It draws on the work of several authors, most significantly Annie Dillard, Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, Helen Garner, Alice Munro and Kazuo Ishiguro, all of whom have been central to my writing practice. It also discusses the vital question of form in fiction - how can form change or be manipulated to suit a certain idea - or, to put it another way, how does an idea dictate its form? The second section of the thesis, Trouble, is a collection of short fiction that demonstrates the effect of these influences. It is a sequence of stories about adolescence, about the gap between the projected self and the real self, and the process of travelling towards the latter. The third section, Wide Open Road, is a novella, also a demonstration of influence and a meditation on form, and represents a culmination of thinking about influence and its effect on my creative practice.
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