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  • Kyran Gilbert

UNIT 8 Essay










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Essay: Yes! That worked. This was a very tough thing to have taken on, Kyran and it's a measure of your immersion in the subject that you have carried this through with such conviction. The writing is evocative, challenging and - in its latter stages - attaches itself profoundly to the theoretical and fictive works you cite/read. You took a risk and it paid off.

There are moments of sublime quality in this piece - such as the death of its author, the description of your ring and the appropriate naming of your sub-protagonist.

The start of the work is a little plodding though and you are in danger of losing your reader. There's a limit to how much envelope and packing you need to set the scene. Think about how you might start with an event, a finding... perhaps using Hitchcock or Blixen to guide you. It doesn't have to be spectacular - but it would be good to lead with criticality. The complication of an academic assignment is that it requires the answering of a brief and the subject here is a little unclear until the more distinct association with objecthood on the second page. (Of course, if this wasn't an academic assignment this feedback would be somewhat different and the lead-in would be seen as scene setting and a necessarily oblique route into clarity.)

You mention Maria Fusco in your bibliography and may want to continue research into her writings both in around art. I recommend this article too: Fusco, Maria. (2010) How Hard Is It To Die: The Artist’s Novel, Metropolis M, 2010, no.2.

Other people to know: Harland Miller; Kathy Acker; Chris Kraus; Elizabeth Price's work and especially writing.

The pages inserted into the text work well - in particular the death drag across the page. Laurence Sterne uses some similar marks and obliterations in Tristram Shandy. If you haven't read this, you must. It's often referred to as the first novel - particularly interesting as it's a kind of an artwork too. (There's a place called Shandy Hall - where Sterne used to live - that has held some elegant shows about artist's writing and text based artworks.)

As you approach the MCP - and I recommend continuing to write in an expanded form - there are some things to keep in mind. One is the importance of the connection of font to voice. As the font shifted into something more gothic-folksy I wasn't entirely sure this 'married' with the tone of the writing itself. A font change works well but needs some work and testing. Also - as you continue to develop these ideas - consider how you play with the use of quotation. You need it and yet use it so sparingly... you will need to evidence your analysis of sources more directly. Perhaps there's some subsidiary appendix? A separate unearthed volume. Try to play with this in draft form.

At my most critical: This is a text about writing that refers to writing within writing. It does this brilliantly. Going forwards - if it is to sustain the word count of the MCP - it needs to also show that it is a text that looks beyond the conceit of its making and engages - with depth of analysis - with others' voices. Working out how to do this whilst maintaining the fiction will be a trick. I think you can do it. Overall, Kyran, this is an impressive work to be proud of. (A)

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