Thursday, September 13, 2007

Apertures opening and closing

As I write my thesis I feel rather like someone holding a camera who zooms in and out so fast that she feels a bit sick and can no longer focus on what she was trying to take a picture of. Having tightened my gaze considerably, I am now considering broadening it again, writing about a few more books, in order to actually narrow the scope of what I'm writing about to really focus on the relationship between melancholy and creativity in young adult fiction.

So I'm thinking of, as well as writing about Coraline, including one of Pullman's Northern Lights books (probably the first) and perhaps Thursdays Child by Sonya Hartnett (though I'm not sure if that's so much melancholy as simply depressing...I'm not dissing Hartnett at all, I'm too scared of her and I also think she's utterly brilliant). I also want to write about Drift, by me. It means changing the introduction but I can keep the majority of what I've written which is the discussion of melancholy and psychoanalysis and I can use fragments of the analysis of Coraline.

If anyone has any suggestions for a work to include I would welcome it. The novel I'm looking for would ideally combine real world and some kind of fantasy element, be melancholic and have some kind of notion of an artistic or creative act (in Thursday's Child I'm thinking of Tin's digging as being a kind of creative act). Short stories welcome too, but it needs to be YA.

In other news I told my publisher I'd write a whole novel by the end of the year. Ha ha ha ha ha. Why would I do that? So if anyone has any suggestions for that too, I'm all ears.


  1. Hmm. Melancholy. What about David Almond? Heaven Eyes or Kit's Wilderness. Or Clay. I want to be David Almond when I grow up.

  2. Oh yes. I love Skellig. It is my most favourite. Good one.

    But it's occurred to me that I am a bit heavy on the english though. I also thought of Un Lun Dun (which I haven't read) but he's another pom. Gaiman is kind of American but Coraline is a very english book.

  3. Isobelle Carmody - perhaps the Winter Door trilogy (there are only two of them so far though). Very melancholy - and Australian.

  4. Anonymous9:41 AM

    What about Marianne Dreams? I can lend it if you like. It's English too though, damn those melancholic pommy bastards.

    Maybe there's another thesis to be written about English vs US vs Aust vs whatever whatever attitudes to childhood generally - because the Brits certainly seem to do the nostalgic, melancholic thing as a default setting.

  5. Here's another brit (I think). John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things. I'm not even really sure it's Young Adult (though it's about a young boy who reads fairytales, so it probably is). Anyway I read this sentence shortly after reading your post, and it seemed to fit:

    'After her death, he tried to avoid these old tales, for they were linked too closely to his mother to be enjoyed, but the stories would not be so easily denied and they began to call to David. They seemed to recognise something in him, or so he started to believe, something curious and fertile.'

  6. Requiem for a Princess- Ruth M Arthur (English)
    Playing Beatie Bow- Ruth Park (aussie)

  7. isn't 'something curious and fertile' lovely?