A Perpetual Journey: Reflections on Travel Writing, Creativity, Minimalism and the Meaning of Life
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This dissertation focuses on the critical reflection of the author’s own creative work, using chapters of an untitled fictional travelogue. It reflects on the hybrid nature of travel writing as a genre that includes elements of geography, history, topography, biography, fact and fiction. The different types of travel writing are discussed including the distinction between travel guides and travel writing and actual and fictional travel writing. One key element of discussion is the effect that the selection of a particular research process has on the finished work. It focuses in particular on creative writing as a research process and how, by adopting this approach, what was intended to be a work of creative non-fiction became a work of fiction that included elements of psychogeography and how factual research formed the basis for the background to the story. The critical reflection also discusses the role of biography in travel writing including male and female viewpoints and how other factors such as gender, age, social background and culture impact on the traveller’s perceptions of different places so that the same physical journey is a different personal experience for each participant. The author also reflects on the use and appropriateness of a minimalist or realist approach in fictional travel writing including how it is used to portray two ‘ordinary’ middle class women; and, secondly the appropriateness of using a minimalist style to describe various locations in Italy. It is argued that using simple language and avoiding adjectives wherever possible it is possible for the reader to create their own personal images of the different locations.
MA Creative Writing
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