Creative Writing and the New Humanities

By Paul Dawson | Go to book overview

1

From imagination to creativity

The phrase 'creative writing' has several meanings. It operates as a synonym for literature; for published works of fiction, poetry and drama. It is also the name given to a subject or course of study in which students produce writing which is generally considered 'creative'; that is, writing in the aforementioned literary genres. Hence a division can be made between creative writing as literature and creative writing as 'pseudo-literature' - as Robert Scholes calls it in Textual Power (1985:5) - since the creative writing produced by students is recognised by academic credit rather than publication and general circulation, although it aspires to the status of literature.

Creative writing does not have to refer specifically to 'literary' works, however, but to any writing which is 'creative', i.e. original, unconventional, expressive, etc. It is sometimes seen in opposition to literature. Kevin Brophy, for example, questions attempts to duplicate mainstream literary forms in the writing workshop. He sees creative writing as a practice, as 'a pursuit of creativity', which can free writers from the traditional and established genres of the 'recent modernist literary canon' - novels, plays and poems - and thus from concepts of authorship as an elitist and solitary practice (1998:34). In schools creative writing is often described as the free expression of a child's personality, the verbal enunciation of their individual creativity. In Creative Writing in the Primary School, the school teacher A. Chapple defines 'creative writing' as 'that written expression in which children put down their own ideas, thoughts, feelings and impressions in their own words. It is writing that is original as opposed to imitative. It is sincere, personal expression that is flavoured by the personality of the child' (1977:1).

It is my intention to approach Creative Writing as a discipline, that is, as a body of knowledge and a set of pedagogical practices which operate through the writing workshop and are inscribed within the

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Creative Writing and the New Humanities
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - From Imagination to Creativity 21
  • 2 - Disciplinary Origins 48
  • 3 - Workshop Poetics 87
  • 4 - Creative Writing in Australia 121
  • 5 - Negotiating Theory 158
  • 6 - What is a Literary Intellectual? 180
  • Conclusion 205
  • Notes 215
  • Bibliography 218
  • Index 245
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