Writing into or drawing from? Self-manifestation through movement in contemporary writing of space

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Contemporary Australian cultural studies has seen a move towards a multimodal awareness of space and place in writing – a speculative turn in both critical and creative work confronting the subject/object dichotomy as a limitation in place-making. Theorists such as Ross Gibson, Stephen Muecke and Michael Farrell offer beautiful conceptualisations of written spaces, drawing from several philosophical traditions, which might give context to contemporary creative practices. This writing regularly draws from movement as an integral feature of the practice discussed, with walking emerging in several approaches to re-envision the poet wanderer. But it is also possible to trace in this writing an act of self- manifestation, a desire for the ‘doing-making’ of self to be inscribed within the multimodal spaces created. This paper will argue that this layering of self and space in the act of writing is both akin to and actively opposing the tradition of Romantic thought. While several features of the practices invoked might seem to draw from similar acts of immersion in landscape, the underlying trope of the Romantic poet’s divine communion is inverted in the speculative drive towards multimodal relation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalTEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Programs
Issue number41
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

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