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Title: Asperger's Syndrome And Fiction - Autistic Worlds And Those Who Build Them
Author(s): Garbutt, Ian
Supervisor(s): Bell, Liam M
Keywords: Asperger's fiction
Autism and creativity
Issue Date: Jul-2017
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: Do tangible, testable links exist between the autistic spectrum and creativity? How would such links work from the perspective of an author with Asperger's Syndrome? To what degree would autism mould the author's work, and how would it affect writing technique and style compared to neurotypical (non autistic spectrum authors)? Do these links provide a tangible advantage? Can an Asperger's author successfully engage a non-Asperger's readership? Has Asperger's become fashionable in fiction and if so what are the benefits/consequences? Can an “extraterrestrial stranded without an orientation manual”1 communicate ideas in a meaningful way to non-autistics? Asperger's Syndrome is a form of high functioning autism where those affected express a range of social, behavioural and perceptual traits which have no actual bearing on their level of intelligence. As an author with Asperger's my intention is to examine the degree to which my autism affects my writing technique and style compared to neurotypical (non autistic) creatives. Asperger's sufferers lack empathy and social skills, therefore creating situations a reader can empathise with is challenging. To an Asperger's other people are 'aliens'. If the characters and scenarios in my work are coloured by my difference, then it may be the difference itself which provides the hook for the reader. To what extent do Asperger's authors need to 'pretend to be normal' in order to engage a neurotypical reader, or to make their work generally marketable? Is there an argument that they shouldn't even try? With increasing diagnosis and better understanding of the autistic spectrum, the Asperger's limited but intense range of interests and ability to focus without human distraction might link in to creative excellence that has an appeal far beyond the boundaries of the autistic spectrum. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate whether claims of autistic links to creativity are more than heresay. I examine alleged positive evidence for these links, and see how this evidence ties in with my experience both as an Asperger's and an author, with particular regard to my decisions in crafting my novel The Ghost Land.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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