Place of publicationMelbourne, Vic.
Research statementBackground This essay engages creative nonfiction methods and uses the work of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature, the film High Fidelity (2000) and a short fictional work by James Joyce, ‘The Dead’. It converses with Deleuze and Guattari’s dual notions of minor literatures/people and delirium, working playfully from popular culture towards politics and ontology. It does this by querying taste, rules of taste, dominant attitudes in art/making and the approbated conventions of style at various times. It disputes (or at least complicates) a common compositional adage which recommends forgoing entirely the use of adverbs
Contribution The essay takes up a staple of editorial advice, namely that adverbs are to be avoided. It argues that adverbs mark the threshold where we might become-differently, become different kinds of writers who are able to sustain the intricate temporalities of the varying speeds that adverbs enable. The essay explores how we might make decisions about them, as we move beyond the crude rule, mooting the latter’s possible investments in haste/busyness. Using the notions of delirium and of liking-as-subversive-act, it interrogates the ways in which we may subtract ourselves from dominant modes of taste-policing, and evade the speeds linked to illusions of choice offered to us under late capitalism
Significance The essay unsettles and extends the theory of creative writing across genres. It links larger philosophical questions (about time, rhythm, ‘efficiency’ and preference) to a politics of speed and utility, and the latter’s complicity with language ‘correctness’, which may not be aware of the power it passes on. It considers the work of a crucial figure in literary history in conversation with recent debates (Crum, Huffington Post, 2014). The essay provides a complex but accessible commentary on a crucial aspect of language useful for creative writers, editors and thinkers.
Publication classificationJ2 Minor original creative work
Copyright notice2016, Antic
ExtentCreative Nonfiction Essay