The assault on Mount B: understanding the role of story in self-delusion in our personal histories

Fee, Roderick Harold
Mountfort, Paul
O'Connor, Maria
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Doctor of Philosophy
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Auckland University of Technology

This research consists of a creative writing component, a novel, accompanied by an exegesis. The Assault on Mount B examines consciousness through an experimental exploration in creative writing. It uses synchronous but disjunctive multi-tracking, genre-bending forking pathways across multiple literary modes, avenues of comprehension, delusion, and memory and a blank canvas denouement. It interrogate states of delusion in everyday life and asks how and why human beings create revisionist meaning out of their lived experience by creating patterns of story and attempts to provide insights into the inevitable relationship that story has to our perception of reality. It adopts a framework of multiple simultaneous narratives within a protagonist and explores the necessary incompleteness and resulting inevitable compromise in interpreting reality and the construction of the self. It explores these in both theme and in physical form with different voices, temporality and open text by setting up the relationship between two contemporaneous narrative layers within one person and a third layer being a collection of myths legends and fables written in a modern context representing both the protagonist’s underlying conscience and forms of rationalisation for his actions. Its research design is such that the reader is invited to make an inquiry into the three separate narratives exploring the distinction between what appears to have happened in the main character’s life and the different contemporaneous narratives which are constructed continuously within him but are not necessarily open to his conscious mind, ultimately suggesting that all of these perceptions and therefore the conscious self are versions of invented story. It examines the concept that we are an amalgam of such narratives, in effect Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’s monster.

The exegesis results from a continuous cycle of action and reflection during the construction of the creative work. Engagement with the critical literature relating to the allows reflection upon and adaptation of the creative work, while performing the creative work sparks more questions to be interrogated in terms of theory. The exegesis is therefore based on the same body of research that informs the CW exploring external or literary or cultural topics related at least implicitly to the CW. This dialogical movement comprises the methodology underlying the composition of both parts of my PhD.

[NOTE: The novel, "The assault on Mount B" is embargoed until 18-November-2017]

Creative , Writing
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