Hybrid Writing: Literature as Criticism, Criticism as Literature
University of East Anglia
Saturday 17 December 2016
Gilbert. […] just as artistic creation implies the working of the critical faculty, and, indeed, without it cannot be said to exist at all, so Criticism is really creative in the highest sense of the word.
(Wilde, ‘The Critic as Artist’, 260, in The Major Works, (Oxford: OUP, 2008)
There is a trend in contemporary writing for work which, like Gilbert, interrogates and challenges the divide between literature and criticism – writing which accounts for the fact that literary criticism can itself be literary, that the literature it criticises can have a critical function, and that Creative Writing impels these practices to cohabit in the academy. Whilst Wilde staged the destabilisation of the literary/critical divide as a dialogue, contemporary writing goes further, showing performatively how writing can be both. This conference aims to explore this hybridity through work which interrogates or destabilises the established demarcation within writing.
Discussing a particular form of this writing, Paul Dawson recently described ‘a textual no man’s land in which a generic intermingling and hybridity takes place’ (166-7). Whilst there has always been generic intermingling between criticism and literature, it is marked particularly strongly in contemporary writing. We think that our ‘textual no man’s land’ of work which permeates the binary division has been increasingly populated in recent writing, with notable contributions from writers including Ali Smith, Anne Carson, and Geoff Dyer. We are calling this ‘Hybrid Writing’. Although there has been some critical attention given to both individual practitioners of this writing and their particular hybrid texts, there has been relatively little examination of hybrid writing as a broad tendency. This conference will create a space in which to remedy this.
Further information may be found at hybridwritingblog.wordpress.com
Registration is via the UEA Online Store. Please note, the deadline for registrations is Friday 25 November 2016 and refunds cannot be guaranteed after this date.
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