Cotton Fields and City Veins
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Cotton Fields and City Veins is an experiment in creatively constructing the city as a site of abjection. The narrative, which follows a couple as they search for a new home, is influenced and inspired by Julia Kristeva’s theory of abjection. The core themes of Kristeva’s work, most notably death, decay and ‘otherness’, are explored through the process of creative writing. Specifically, the themes are manifested in the characterisation and personification of the abject city which consumes and excretes its inhabitants as waste. Human relationship and interaction with city space was a crucial area of research, and my investigation of this phenomenon crossed over a number of disciplines including geography, psychology and sociology. My research also incorporated textual analysis of transgressive/experimental fiction, such as the work of Chuck Palahniuk and Bret Easton Ellis, and included a study of unreliable narrators that often feature in transgressive literature. Drawing on this study and my own practise-based research, I argue within the reflective essay that the pairing of the term ‘undesirable’ with unreliable is a more encompassing definition of the unreliable narrator. Cotton Fields is the culmination of my findings; my imagined experience of an abject city is brought into existence through its creative construction whilst the unreliable and ‘undesirable’ narrator communicates this imagined experience through unsettling modes of storytelling.