Residing between languages: writing fiction in a second language, a theoretical and practical approach
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 19:36 authored by Linn Skoglund
This thesis investigates the practice of writing fiction in a second language in relation to the creative processes involved in such writing. In its investigations and analysis the thesis is concerned with international mobility and cross-cultural exchanges, and the concomitant rise of the translingual writer from several perspectives. In presenting the thesis writer's own short stories C written in her second language English C together with reflections on the writing of these stories, and in interviewing writers who write and publish in their second language, and analysing their responses, the thesis is principally concerned with the following interrelated themes: firstly, the extent to which writing fiction in a second language influences creative process, and secondly the writer!> experiences and perceptions of the influence of one language on another in their writing. The thesis argues that both residing and writing between languages has a positive influence on the creative process in that this situation of 'in-betweenness' generates conflict in a number of ways. This conflict relates to areas such as cultural and individual identity as well as the sense of one's own identity as a writer, but more significantly these areas of conflict are related to language. The thesis argues that it is this element of conflict for the 'in-between' writer that fuels creativity. As the interviewees and the thesis writer reside between languages, so does this research reside between disciplines. To understand the premise for this research, as well as to analyse and to interpret its findings, it has been necessary to consult theoretical and disciplinary approaches from fields such as psychology, anthropology, linguistics, philosophy, English and literature studies, and creative writing research. Research on language and creativity in the post-colonial context has been a significant source in the theoretical framing of this project. The research framework of this project is in line with the 'Iterative Cyclic Web' model of creative and research processes outlined by Hazel Smith and Roger Dean (2009) in the book Practice-led Research, Research-led Practice in the Creative Arts: the practice of creative writing has led the research, and the research has led back into the practice. This is also reflected in the presentation of the research, so that this thesis is structured and presented accordingly with alternating sections of analytical, reflective, and creative writing.