“We seem to live in the ‘age of the self.”
I was delighted to be invited to contribute a piece of writing to an academic collection edited by two of my Brighton University tutors, Jess Moriarty and Ross Adamson.
I am sure this collection will be used extensively by both postgraduate and undergraduate Creative Writing students for many years to come.
The Performance and Communities Series celebrates, challenges and researches performance in the real world. As Jess and Ross point out in their introduction:
“We seem to live in the ‘age of the self’, of memoir and autobiography, confession and intense scrutiny of individual and individualized lives.”
In a month when TV commentators are still arguing about Harry and Meghan’s Netflix documentary, and newspapers vie for snippets from Harry’s ‘tell all’ memoir ‘Spare’, this has never been more true.
Jess and Ross go on to say: “We use the phrase ‘Storying the Self’ provocatively. ‘Storying the Self’ complicates any notion that selves are easily definable or even knowable in any direct way. Criticism is sometimes levelled at ‘auto’ work for its narcissistic tendencies.
What is the good of me telling you about me? There is no way to avoid these tendencies, but instead to talk about them, write about them and acknowledge them. We resist the charge of narcissism by showing the ways lives are bound up together.”
My chapter focuses on my personal journey and associated challenges as I completed the dissertation module for my MA. It delves into my relationship with my muse, Daphne du Maurier, and references our ‘Imagined Dialogue’ which was to become a central part of my thesis.
Chapter Four – ‘The Child Destined to Be a Writer is Vulnerable to Every Wind that Blows’:
How to grow an Autoethnographer.
“Suzi Bamblett also offers a personal, multidimensional text that combines her autobiographical writing about her experience on a creative writing MA and details a method of writing she calls ‘Imagined Dialogues.’ Suzi puts herself in conversation with
Daphne du Maurier and discusses how this helped her confidence with her process,
inspiring an original story that draws on her lived and imagined experiences. It offers ideas for anyone with writer’s/artist’s block and who needs to revive their creative approach.”
The kindle version of Storying the Self was published on 25 th November 2022 and the hardcopy is available from February 2023
Performance and Communities Series.
Edited by Ross Adamson and Jess Moriarty
Print ISBN 978-1-78938-728-5