Fictional fears and guarded facts: an experience in writing a ficto-historical novel
Simms, M 2004, 'Fictional fears and guarded facts: an experience in writing a ficto-historical novel', Text, vol. 8, no. 2.
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In the play Loot, by Joe Orton, a character who has been hale and hearty at the end of one scene comes on at the beginning of the next scene in a wheelchair. He is swathed in bandages and the following lines paraphrase his entrance: 'What happened to you?' a character asks him. 'Well,' he replies, 'we set out in high spirits.' (see Orton 1967: 49) I have come to think the journey of a researcher can be a bit like this. I set out, if not quite in high spirits at least with interest and hope, to write a postmodern, feminist novel for my PhD. Through a postmodern playing with notions of truth and historicity I intended my novel to join others in the process of re-inscribing women into the narratives of history, particularly late nineteenth-century Australian history.