Thursday, May 24, 2007

Thesis Update

So I have a (working) title. I'm pretty happy about that actually. The title is: Made or found, what’s the difference? The Melancholy Act of Creation in Neil Gaiman’s Coraline
There's a recurring motif of creating in Coraline, the creations of the other mother, the story Coraline writes and the picture she attempts to draw at the beginning of the mist (eventually writing the word MIST in wobbly letters in one corner). There's also a strong recurring image of playing, in fact you could argue that the whole novel begins because Coraline wishes she had someone to play with, and because she wants to explore. The title comes from a conversation she has with the (very Cheshire-like) cat:
‘Did she make this place then?’ asked Coraline.
‘Made it, found it––what’s the diffence?’ asked the cat. ‘Either way she’s had it a very long time.’
Coming up with a title and narrowing my focus a little (ahem...okay, a lot) has definitely been the key to finding my structure. My thesis supervisor, Kevin Brophy, said this would happen and he was right. Phew. Also it's making my reading feel productive rather than scary and overwhelming because I have a specific question in my head. The question came about because I asked myself sternly why I was writing a thesis, as a creative writer, what's in it for me. So I'm going to write a bit about melancholy and a bit about the relationship between intertextuality and originality (has it all been done before? Is there value in the uncovering and arranging and rearranging of found objects, detritus, debris? Are writers kind of collectors?) and lots about creativity, plus I'm going to partake in a little self-indulgent pyschoanalysis because I find it kind of fun. I'm just nerdy like that.

I've also decided to do a creative component. But that bit's secret, too nebulous to talk about. If I describe it, it might frizzle up.