March 2013

Things I’ve learnt: Manners

As you may know, my last book, Things I Thought I Knew, was premised on, er, yes, that. That idea that there are some things that you DO know, and there are some things that you can never be sure about. The story is about the big stuff - like fate and love and sanity and reality.

So, some of things I do know, the small stuff. Manners. Use them.

They are basically a code. And they aren’t difficult to learn. And they are totally moveable.

Positivism, Relativism & a whole bunch of History

I decided I wanted to study. Quite suddenly. I looked up the Fine Arts and the School of Arts courses. They seemed like fun. My aim: to create texts that are supported by installations. Installations can include museum pieces, painting, photos by other photographers, anything really. And I’ve figured that any type of writing that supports this, is writing.

Really tho, I want the libraries. U may or may not know (but of course you don’t) that I have been trying to move to Bathurst, for a few months, for a few years. To get to the Rhodes library. I then noticed the creative writing course. But apparently you have to sit around in a circle and discuss each others work. No, definitely no to that.

THEN I noticed the history course. The Honours curriculum, to be exact.

So I am …. an occasional student. Doing my Honours, without a BA. I am only allowed four books a week. I shall not write a 25 000 word dissertation this year. But this has given me what I want: the libraries and access to all-ll the journals I can possibly lay my hands on. And access to brains - lots and lots of new people who are specialised in a way that I am completely ignorant.

I have been writing my first critical essay - positivism, relativism and historical objectivity. And, thankfully, I know some of it. It seems researching your own novels and making notes and doing self study has paid off. My last book was mostly about anamnesis - the very first page titled On Certainty.

So far, my essay style is far too tonal, possibly chatty. But I’ll clean this up as I get the hang of it. Now, to see what my marks are like. And to get feedback on how precise you need to be in a 5000 word piece. Likely, much more precise than I am, or ever will be, said the novelist to the historian.