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Title: People, Places, Spaces and Traces: Writing Lotte and the Psychogeographical Imagination
Author(s): Raymond, Martin James
Supervisor(s): MacNeil, Kevin
Bell, Liam Murray
Keywords: creative writing
place writing
family history
Issue Date: 28-Mar-2022
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: Place is more than setting. Using psychogeographical methods and framed by critical theory, this practice-led thesis investigates how the interaction of geography, history, memory and imagination in recreating the past as fiction. The first four chapters of this dissertation examine the role of place by way of classic psychogeographic methodology, modified by autoethnographic theory. Because the fieldwork was carried out during a global pandemic, it also considers the exploration of urban and rural terrain via Google Street View. The thesis discusses the role of archival material, photographs and personal memories. It interrogates the tension between creativity and ethical dilemmas involved in writing fiction based on family history. The second part of this dissertation is Lotte, a novel inspired by the experiences of my grandmother in the inter-war period. My creative practice informed, and was informed by, my critical investigations. A theoretical framework is provided by a survey of writers from a range of disciplines including Lefebvre, Bakhtin, Bachelard, Tuan, Careri, Stepanova and Didion. Concepts of space/place and the social ownership of space, particularly in relation to gender, are especially significant for my own creative work. Three recently published novels are studied in detail. They share a psychogeographic approach to defining character and forming narrative through interaction with a carefully constructed sense of period and location. All these elements are brought together to argue that an understanding of place can help the writer shape a credible illusion of the past, placing characters and events in a carefully realised imaginative landscape. The novel is an original creative work. The critical chapters also make a unique contribution to knowledge by identifying the power of liminal places to enhance jeopardy, conflict and transformation, and by exploring how the relationship between memory and the digital derive enhances the writer’s approach to time and space.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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