Does the Representation of Politics Present a Specific Challenge to Creative Prose Fiction?

Spain, David (2019) Does the Representation of Politics Present a Specific Challenge to Creative Prose Fiction? Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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The political novel serves an important function, offering an exploration of political institutions, provoking discourse and inspiring engagement. The aim of this study is to identify the difficulties in producing a political novel and how they might be overcome. By ‘political novel’, this thesis refers to a novel which explores political processes, the exercise of political power or the effects of such political action upon the body politic. To this end, the research question is as follows: does politics as a subject matter and discourse present a specific challenge to creative prose fiction?

The research question is answered through practice-based research in the form of writing a political novel as well as the production of a commentary which reflects upon this creative process. This project argues that the political novelist must overcome several problems inherent in the fictional representation of politics. The first of these is the difficulty of containing the elements of political detail, thought and action within a work of fiction, due to its potential to disrupt the flow of narrative through its opaque and complex nature; the second is the issue of the mode through which the fiction is to be related to the reader and the consequences the use of different narrative voices will have on the presentation of political activity. Finally, there is the challenge of ensuring that an accurate representation of the political scene and relevant political attitudes is achieved.

This study proposes that through the combination of the political elements with personal feeling and affect within the writing, these challenges can be answered in a manner which empowers their writing with a vitality which invigorates the political action within the novel.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political novel, Narrative voice, Milieu, Depiction of setting, Personal and political
Subjects: Q300 English studies
W800 Imaginative Writing
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2019 11:12
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 22:32

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