Divorce 56 : a collection of interlinking short stories

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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. Access is restricted indefinitely. ----- Divorce 56 is a collection of short stories interlinked by setting, overlapping characters, image clusters and urban preoccupations. At the centre of each story is a moment of separation: what is exchanged in that moment, either faced or turned away from, and how. Some characters, Molly ('Hat’) and Faith ('Faith'), face the separation and speak up, some characters, like Peter and Harrow ('Water' and 'Anzac') turn away and are lost. Others like Matthew and Lizzy are still finding their way. ('Sunday Lunch' and 'Girl in Blue') In the process of the work, I researched the writing techniques of short fiction, in particular Point of View. In the nine short stories and five not included in the collection, (one in second-person point of view) I was able to experiment with different combinations of point of view and tense. From this research I learned something of the strengths and limitations of the Point of View techniques and gained an understanding of narratorial stance and how point of view frames a story. One of the issues that emerged in the fiction writing was the question of the responsibility of the writer. I took up this question in the Research Paper (see the section on 'Authorship and Social Responsibility'), along with the question of genre and tradition, of where the stories sit in relation to other short fiction collections. As a result of the research, I have a view now about what the writer's job is, the relation to the text, and the responsibility to the reader. Finally, in developing the thematic concerns of the stories, the moment of separation and how that moment is negotiated, I came to see I was writing about writing itself. About the struggle to go towards and not to turn away from our dark places and to illuminate the places of joy.
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