Opening abstract taken directly from Isobelle's PhD:
“This thesis explores the complementarity of the literary modes of realism and the Fantastic by means of the writing of a slipstream novel, The Theatre of Death, and through its analysis in a critical essay, “Riding the Slipstream”. Where writers such as Sterling (1989) have used the term slipstream to describe a subgenre of fantasy, I use it to describe a writerly set of techniques in which an author oscillates between the modes of realism and the Fantastic, in structure, language, and/or setting. Ostensibly a work of realism, my novel The Theatre of Death is set in Dockers Gorge, a fictional but realistic inland regional town in Australia. After the shocking murder of one of their children, the impoverished Rose family sell their home and move into a ramshackle residence attached to an abandoned rope factory in an industrial area on the outskirts of the town, where they try to establish an alternative funeral home. As a creative work, The Theatre of Death explores grief as a redemptive process, leading to reconciliation of the self with mortality. I adopt an autoethnographic approach to explore the techniques of slipstream, to show how a dynamic interplay of the Fantastic and realism can engage with questions of mortality and bereavement. This fieldwork informs a metatextual layer in the novel. The requirement to establish positionality in an ethnography allows me to explore my own experience of bereavement and affords a unique exploration of the rich uncertainties of the emergent aspects of creative practice.”
For more information, contact Isobelle.