News release - Noosa professor’s new book promotes validity of speculative biography

Published: Comments:
Community Creative Arts Literature & Libraries University & TAFE

Social:   
Professor Donna Lee Brien

Speculative biographies may stir controversy but they can also reveal how real lives are often uncertain, contradictory and confusing.

That’s according to CQUniversity Professor Donna Lee Brien, co-editor of a new Cambridge Scholars publication entitled Recovering History Through Fact and Fiction: Forgotten Lives.

“In 1901, Henry James noted the importance of speculation in attempting to imagine past lives for literary characters,” she says.

“While James was writing about representing characters in fiction, these remarks are applicable … in terms of how to incorporate this sense of an individual’s consciousness and identity into the biographical text,” she says.

“By basing their subjective conjecture, empathy and imaginings on the documented facts (and making clear when any conjecture is not thus grounded), biographers can speculate but still ensure their texts are classified as non-fiction biographies.

“A recognition of such speculation can contribute to making a case for biography to be considered as a valid form of creative writing rather than merely a mechanistic presentation of historical facts.”

Noosa-based Professor Brien cites a recent book, The Convict’s Daughter by Kiera Lindsey, which provides an openly speculative biography of 19th-century character Mary Ann Gill.

“This is biography pushing the boundaries of speculation, but always pulling back before the volume becomes an historical novel,” she says.

“Speculative writing strategies can produce biographies that are rich, appealing and thought-provoking, historically-informed narratives of real lives and experience.”

Recovering History Through Fact and Fiction: Forgotten Lives brings together research focusing on historic figures who have been largely neglected by history or forgotten over time.

The volume includes chapters on a diverse array of topics, including semi-biographical fiction, digital and visual biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs, among others.

The book also provides fresh perspectives on historical figures whose biographies are distorted by their fame or limited by public perception.

The subjects explored include, among others, a child author, a Finnish grandmother, a cold war émigré, an Elizabethan era playwright, a castaway, a celebrated female artist, and the lauded personalities Mary Shelley, Judy Garland and J.R.R. Tolkien.

 
CQUniversity Noosa :
90 Goodchap Street, Noosaville
07 5440 7000
07 5440 7025
CQUniversity Noosa
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
Acting roles on offer for Noosa folk who may be 'patiently waiting' 06 June 2018 | Like to dip your toe into the life of an actor? Well here's an opportunity you can take lying down. More information...
Sunshine Coast event celebrates legacy of women who championed art and the environment 01 May 2018 | The legacy of prominent female artists who were also environmental campaigners will be celebrated during an exhibition in Caloundra titled ‘Wild/flower Women II: Art, Environment and Activism’. More information...
Caloundra's culture champion on the crest of a wave 01 May 2018 | April Cunningham is heading off to a very august body in May and June. The Sunshine Coast Indigenous woman and cultural educator has garnered a Global Voices scholarship to represent Australia at the OECD World... More information...
Stories of war-time nurses brought to life in Noosa 20 April 2018 | Stories of war-time nurses will be brought to life in the lead-up to Anzac Day, with authentic costumes, an animated video and drama presentations as part of a themed morning tea at CQUniversity Noosa on Monday 23... More information...
Noosa embraces business disruption and the edu-tourism market 03 April 2018 | Winter is coming, but in terms of ‘business disruption’, CEOs and senior managers can embrace the new age, not fear it, thanks to a milestone event organised by a new brand entity. More information...
Stories of war-time nurses brought to life in Noosa 03 April 2018 | Stories of war-time nurses will be brought to life in the lead-up to Anzac Day, with authentic costumes, an animated video and drama presentations as part of a themed morning tea at CQUniversity Noosa on Monday 23... More information...
Moroccan memories expressed in a blast of colour at CQUni Noosa 26 March 2018 | CQUniversity Noosa Art Space visitor Pam Taylor's collection of paintings will express evocative memories and explosions of colour from her adventures through Morocco. More information...
News release - Noosa professor’s new book promotes validity of speculative biography 22 March 2018 | Speculative biographies may stir controversy but they can also reveal how real lives are often uncertain, contradictory and confusing. More information...
Sunshine Coast residents invited to volunteer as 'simulated patients' for CQUni Nursing 19 March 2018 | Experienced track cyclist Richie Bates recently subjected himself to realistic-looking moulage make-up, simulating road accident wounds, to help promote recruitment of ‘simulated patients’ for the CQUniversity... More information...
CQUni VC announces his departure at the end of 2018 08 March 2018 | CQUniversity’s Vice-Chancellor has today announced to staff and students that he will depart the University at the end of this year. More information...



Social:   
comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service