The voice of Doug ; And the son will rise

  • Danielle Lee-Anne Hircock

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    My dissertation explores a creative nonfiction narrative about an Australian soldier serving on the Western Front during the First World War. I concentrate on voice development, characterisation and the integration of historical fact and creative interpretation. I explicate the writing process required in a case such as this where the subject lived in a past era. In my writing praxis, I create dynamic scenic narration, dialogue and description based on artefacts, photography and personal documents to provide a presentation of lived experience, promoting the story of the individual. Key writers informing my writing practice are Barthes (1993),Bourdieu (1984; 1990; 1996a; 1996b),Brien (2000),Derrida (1995),Gutkind (1997; 2000),Lowenthal (1985),Onega (1995),Piaget (1970a; 1970b),Ricoeur (1988),Sokolowski (2000),Steinberg (1998; 2001) and Sutherland (2007; 2009). Creative nonfiction requires both historical fact and creative technique for the story to be powerfully expressed. The creative nonfiction writer has a great power and potential for great impact because of the relationship between creative discourse and historical discourse. I have created a concrete foundation for the expression of the characters‘ voices by the thoroughness of my research and the use of the tools and techniques of narrative writing. My narrative offers not only historical context and research, but also situates readers in the trenches with the soldiers—in their world. The genre offers a unique opportunity to bring Sgt Douglas Cumper to life. Through my words, one can hear as ‗A few cracks of infantry fire from the German front line sounded out and then was accompanied by a glorious sound, like music, though their band would not dare break this silence. It was a joyous carolling of a lark, whose sound drifted eerily through the night air, undisturbed by the feared rat-a-tat-tat of German machine gunners at work. Doug heard some voices sigh happily with the knowledge that some beautiful creature was heralding them in what may be their last hours on earth. Some beauty still existed...‘

    Date of Award2010
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorJen Webb (Supervisor) & Greg Battye (Supervisor)

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