Saturday, 6 September 2014

working saturday, godstow walk, guitar, life-writing, visualising fiction, dh

Working at the library today before a few days off when the building closes for St Giles' Fair.

Got to Oxford early so I did the wonderful Godstow Abbey-Binsey walk. A calming herald-of-autumn haze over the Thames and Port Meadow.

Took these photos of the abbey from inside its precincts‎ and of an overturned guitar in the stream below Fiddler's Island.

On the bus in I worked on more of a new narrative about my family. This week and next are good opportunities for writing because there is a slight lull in my teaching commitments. I'd expected to work on Icarus, the novella, but in the end decided on life-writing. This instalment will extend to 15,000 words and is two-thirds done. Once it's finished I'll shape it and the other two related narratives (one a 10k extract from a 30k essay written in 1998, the other a 20k piece written after Easter 2012) into a work that combines them, other documents and other short things I've written, including jtns blog posts, and photos and scans. The aim is to produce a life-writing work in multi-media.

What I find particularly interesting is the difference in perspective - and, I think, tone of voice - between the three principal narratives.

This is life-writing but also therapy through writing.

Last Monday, meantime, I attended an inspiring talk given by Lynn ‎Cherny (@arnicas) a former researcher at Stanford and a data analyst. She spoke to the Bodleian Libraries about visualising fiction, something close to my heart.

Also pleased to report that there's quite a Digital Humanities buzz in the University just now. Exciting.

Frank Egerton


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone

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