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City of Skies (a novel); and, Creativity and inner landscape: A writer's perspective

McLeod, Chris (2001) City of Skies (a novel); and, Creativity and inner landscape: A writer's perspective. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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My work is in two parts: 1. City of Skies. 2. Creativity and Inner Landscape: a Writer’s Perspective.

City of Skies is a novel which was written during my candidature, as part-requirement for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. The novel was published in 2000 by Fremantle Arts Centre Press. It sets out to be an innovative work of literary fiction which deals with coincidence, memory, loss, love, myth, reality and dreams. Written in a poetic prose style which pays particular attention to language, rhythm, repetition and image, the novel focusses, particularly, on the stories of its two principal characters, Cass and Robert, following their lives from childhood and detailing their relationship as adults. The work has some mythological reference points and is set in a real/not-real landscape, the city of skies.

Creativity and Inner Landscape: a Writer’s Perspective is the second part of my Ph.D. requirements. It is a thesis which examines aspects of my writing process for City of Skies, and for some of my other published fiction. As well as this examination, the thesis comments in section one (“Creativity and Creative Process”) on the construct of creativity, referring to objective considerations (how may the construct be understood?) and subjective considerations (how may I, as a writer, understand and access it?). After examining “explanations” of the construct as put forward from a number of perspectives - including those of psychoanalytic and nonpsychoanalytic psychology - the thesis concludes that, as an infinitely variable open structure, creativity is best understood subjectively. In other words, the most valid explanation of creative behaviour is to be found within an individual’s experience of such behaviour. Accordingly, the thesis moves, in section two (“Those Low Blue More Real Less Real Hills: a Subjective Examination of Inner Landscape and Writing Process”) to an examination of my writing process, engaging with the notion of an open structure in which images, memories, ideas and language intersect with unconscious elements in an inner landscape where meaning is never absolute and I am never fully “in control” of where the work is heading. A resonance with Michail Bakhtin’s notions of “polyphony” and “carnival” is suggested.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Division of Social Sciences, Humanities and Education
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Longley, Kateryna
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