Stories of cross-dressing and the body: family memories in fiction

Van Luyn, Ariella (2011) Stories of cross-dressing and the body: family memories in fiction. In: Papers of 2011 Oral History Association of Australia Biennial National Conference. pp. 1-11. From: OHAA 17th National Conference, 7-9 October 2011, Melbourne, Vic, Australia. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Ruth Finnegan (2006, 179) describes how family myths have the power to provoke images that recur throughout generations. This paper will document my own encounter with such persistent images in the stories of a mother and daughter. Both mother and daughter told stories about encountering cross-dressing men in the streets of Brisbane, and both showed similar anxiety over their own body size. As a creative writer working with oral histories, I found these stories of the disguised body compelling. By drawing on the storytelling strategies and preoccupations present in the interview, I used imagination and fictional techniques to investigate the possibility of symbolic resonance of memories across generations.

In her novel Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987) uses the notion of "rememory" to describe how characters actively make and suppress meanings in their recollections. Like Morrison, my writing speaks to notions around the way stories are remembered and told.

Item ID: 24741
Item Type: Conference Item (Non-Refereed Research Paper)
Keywords: creative writing, oral history, Toni Morrison, memory
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2013 05:41
FoR Codes: 19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1999 Other Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 199999 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950104 The Creative Arts (incl. Graphics and Craft) @ 100%
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