Vincenza: A Herstory
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This dissertation explores the themes of female identity and history through a piece of prose fiction, accompanied by a critical commentary and reflection. Vincenza: A Herstory follows the narrative of Vincenza, a female artist in the 18th Century, trying to make a name for herself. The idea is derived from the well-known artist, Vincent Van Gogh, whom the narrative fictionalises to question the idea of truth and history. The prose piece is split into two halves as it follows Vincenza’s life as an artist in the Eighteenth Century in the third person, and then the Twentieth Century in first person. The shifts in point of view help separate the narrative and make room for Vincenza’s own thoughts in the later narrative. Throughout the piece, Vincenza’s relation to nature is a recurring theme, as her attachment to it becomes a symbol for her own self and struggles. In the critical essay I reflect on the process of characterisation with regards to Vincenza, what I chose to left out or leave in and my reasons for it. I analyse and explain the use of ‘ekphrasis’ as a writing technique and explore the extent to which the works of Jeanette Winterson and Virginia Woolf have inspired my prose. The essay reflects on the research process, supported by Janet Burroway’s critical opinions on various aspects of writing. Throughout, I also reflect on the potential for my prose piece outside of academic discourse.
BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing