Rhythm as a Metaphor for Presence in Prose Fiction​

Presented by Dr Eliza Robertson

Date: Wednesday 9 May, 2018
Time: 3pm-4pm
Location: Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2), Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37) 

Abstract:

This essay explores the concept of rhythm as a metaphor for presence in literary fiction. To begin, I identify and unpick the prevailing metaphor for presence: voice. Next, I draw upon Jacques Derrida’s critique of Saussurian linguistics to unravel the historic veneration of presence in theories of speech and writing. The third section explores the distinction between conventional and creative metaphors and pitches rhythm as an alternative, more “vital” metaphor for presence in literary prose. Once I lay the theoretical brickwork, I turn to my own creative practice with a discussion of rhythm in relation to my first novel, Demi-Gods. Though I share Derrida’s findings that presence is not necessarily superior to absence, I strive for something like presence in my own work. That is: I aim to produce “vital” writing by way of “animated” language and “lively” characters. To bridge this apparent inconsistency, I argue that vital writing describes a process rather than an end point. I offer the gerund “presenting” as a way to articulate presence as practice, or a work in progress, rather than an objective good on which to hinge a hierarchy of expression.

 

Presenter:

Eliza Robertson studied creative writing at the University of Victoria and the University of East Anglia, where she received the Man Booker Scholarship and Curtis Brown Prize. In 2013, she won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and was shortlisted for the Journey Prize and CBC Short Story Prize. Her debut story collection, Wallflowers, was shortlisted for the East Anglia Book Award and selected as a New York Times editor’s choice. In 2017 she won the Australian Book Review Elizabeth Jolley Story Prize.

Dr Eliza Robertson

 

About Research Seminar and Workshop Series

 


The research seminar and workshop series' occur each semester, each with a different topic and guest speaker from UQ or otherwise.

Unless otherwise advertised, the seminars occur on a Friday afternoon from 3-4 pm in the Digital Learning Space (Room 224) in the Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37).

Semester 1, 2019 Seminars & Workshops

 

Friday, 26 July
3-4pm

School Forum

 

Friday, 2 August
3-4pm

Who Owns Your Face? Personal Identity Rights in the Era of Augmented Reality and Facial Recognition Technology

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Gordon Finlayson

Friday, 16 August
3-5 pm
 

3:00pm-4:00pm (Panel)

4:00pm- onwards (CAPS launch event)

CommArts Postgraduate Society Panel: “How to Write a Journal Article and Target the Right Journals”

CommArts Postgraduate Society Launch/ new HDR student welcome

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Angela Hannan (SCA Librarian)

Dr Elena Danilova (Scholarly Publishing, Library)

Dr Ted Nannicelli (Editor, Projections: The Journal for Movies and Mind)

Associate Professor Kelly Fielding (Communication scholar)

Dr Jennifer Clement (Literary Studies scholar)

Associate Professor Pradip Thomas (Communications, Media and Cultural Studies scholar)
Friday, 23 August
3-5 pm

All in One Quire: Emotional Communities in John Donne's Easter Sermons

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Dr Jennifer Clement

Friday, 6 September
3-4pm

Examining intergenerational cultural transmission in refugee families: A study of Congolese, Burmese, and Ethiopian refugee families resettled in Australia

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Dr Aparna Hebbani, A/Prof Levi Obijiofor and Mairead MacKinnon

Friday, 13 September
3-4pm

AustLit and BlackWords—Platforms for Storying Research

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Kerry Kilner and The AustLit Team

Friday, 20 September
3-4pm

Platform Anxieties in India

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

A/Prof Pradip Thomas
Friday, 27 September
3-4pm

Centre for Critical and Creative Writing Hosted Roundtable: The State of Australian Arts Criticism

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

 
Friday, 4 October
3-4pm

Enacting a Sense of Home Among Older Chinese Migrants in Australia

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

A/Prof Shuang Liu
Friday, 11 October
3-4pm

Selfies, Affordances, and Situational Properties

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Katrin Tiidenberg, Tallinn University

Friday, 18 October
3-4pm

To Not Die of History

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Cherry Smyth

Friday, 25 October
3-4pm

Why Paintings Matter: Filming Bruegel’s Hunters in the Snow (1565)

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Dr Andrea Bubenik