The Burial, essay

Document Type

Creative work

Publication details

Baker, DJ 2014, The Burial, essay, New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 109-116.

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Peer Reviewed



The essay that follows is an experiment in writing short memoir. At the heart of my thinking and experimentation for this piece was the idea that memoir, unlike some other kinds of writing, relies very heavily on memory. This is quite an obvious point, but one that set me to thinking about the qualities of memory itself. Memory is partial, fragmentary, and often hazy or veiled. Another, quite significant, aspect of memory is that it is not immediate; it is somewhat distant or indirect. That distant aspect of memory is what facilitates and inspires creative and critical reflection. For me, writing is more able to privilege a reflective distance than visual mediums. While writing this piece then, I wanted to foreground ways of describing action that brought forward those unique aspects of memory. This is reflected in the piece in a distance around action that mirrors the way we recall and retell events from the past.

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