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Melanie Jones

Writing Away From the Problem: How is anxiety utilised in works of memoir and creative non fiction? A practice based approach.

Artists in many fields channel their anxiety into something creative. It is tempting to say that this kind of outpouring can have a cathartic and therapeutic effect and while there are many theories that discuss creative writing’s function as a “cure”, I am not convinced that things are this simple. Writers are using anxiety, dispelling it into their writing, and bringing it about in others, but are they "curing" it?

Through writing practice and theoretical research, I am examining the ways that anxiety can be utilised in creativity. Can a traumatic anxiety be symbolised in a piece of work that can then be put aside and avoided? Rather than using writing to cure anxiety, can it be used to contain it and give it form?  Can others place their own out of control anxieties into the repository provided by the author? Does anxiety need to be induced in order to do this?

Supervisors: Julia Bell and Dr Katherine Angel.