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Title: The work of the body; the body of work :an investigation into some of the phenomena at work in the process of creativity, with particular reference to the role of the body, the unconscious, the psyche and the notion of reverberation
Authors: Halliday, John
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis concerns the process of creativity. The role of the body is considered to be crucial and phenomenology is the adopted philosophical approach. The methodology is investigative and interrogative rather than didactic and emphasizes relationship. The aim is to tease out rather than to offer magisterial theory. The adopted voice varies being objective, personal and conversational. Dreams, unconscious errors and slips are featured. There is emphasis upon psyche throughout. There are two sections: critical analysis and creative work. The author's physical experience at a poetry reading is recounted. Bachelard's ideas about the poetic image are reviewed. Discovery and making are contrasted and some ideas of the psychological writers, Shorter and Coltart, are examined. Keats's notion of 'Negative Capability' appears alongside some recent medical research in the neurosciences. The implications of Jaynes's 'bicameral mind' are evaluated together with Plato's attack on poetry in Republic. The nature of the Iliadic mind is interrogated. Poetry's bodily impact and the notion of katokoche (bodily possession by the muses) are explored. Recent neuro-scientific research into memory is investigated. How the senses are implicated in the process of making is questioned using comment from writers themselves about the nature of poetry. Reverberation is acknowledged, in both theory and practice. The 'gut brain' and its relationship to the head brain and Merleau-Ponty's ideas about the body as subject are complemented. The Romantics and the emergence of the modem psyche are scrutinized. Keats's 'Ode to Psyche' is critiqued. The emergence of a new language and the centrality of sexuality are considered. Some modem psychological ideas on creativity follow. Robert Nash's notion of the scholarly personal narrative [SPN] aids exploration of the influences and development of the author as a writer. The notion of the hunter is central and the valencies, marriages and associations of words are explored. A coda concludes the critical work. The creative work under the title of 'Blood Stories' comprises three prose pieces and forty-six poems. The Bibliography is followed by the Appendix comprising a Synopsis of Process and the work concludes with the End Notes.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

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