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, 1 March
3pm-4pm

Honours Welcome

Level 6, Michie Building (#9)

 

Friday, 8 March
3pm-4pm

The Media, Populism, and Polarization in the German Context

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

Dr Bernhard Goodwin (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) 

Friday, 22 March
4:30pm

Roundtable: On New Dramaturgy

Terrace Room, Sir Llew Edwards Building (#14)

Katalin Trencsényi (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art)
Bernadette Cochrane
Kathryn Kelly (QUT)
Stephen Carleton

Friday, 29 March
3-4 pm

Storifying Science: Translating Environment through Ecobiography

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

Dr Jessica White
Friday, 12 April
12noon-1:00pm

CSC Exchange

Participatory methods to understand decision-making processes of Filipino rice farmers in the face of climate change

Room 208
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Jaime A. Manalo IV 
Research specialist at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice)

Centre for Communication and Social Change
https://www.uq.edu.au/ccsc/

Friday, 12 April
3-4pm

Streaming, disruption and the evolving cultures of use

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

Emeritus Professor Graeme Turner

Friday, 26 April
3-4pm

Journalism by Numbers: What the Census Tells us about Journalists and Journalism since the 1960s

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

Prof Tom O'Regan and Catherine Young

Friday, 3 May
3-4pm

The Pedagogy of Listening / Listening to people in the age of investment thinking

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

Dr Linje Manyozo (RMIT)

Friday, 10 May
3-4pm

The Sweden of the South: Australia's Eurovision Love Affair

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

Dr Chris Hay
Friday, 17 May
3-4pm

Workshop: non-ARC grant writing workshop

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

A/Prof Kelly Fielding
Friday, 24 May
3-4pm

Transferring Below-the-line Skillsets Across Creative Indisutries in Early Television

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

Dr Alex Bevan