The Cremation Project with Ada & Carter and Art in/to Writing in Kenneth Goldsmith’s Fidget and Day

Mason, Andrea. 2020. The Cremation Project with Ada & Carter and Art in/to Writing in Kenneth Goldsmith’s Fidget and Day. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis considers the impact of art practice on creative writing, and comprises a life-based novel, The Cremation Project, and related short story Ada & Carter, and a critical commentary, ‘Art in/to Writing in Kenneth Goldsmith’s Fidget and Day’. In the critical commentary, through analyses of artist-turned-poet-turned-word- processor Kenneth Goldsmith’s texts Fidget (2000) and Day (2003), I argue that Goldsmith’s conceptual approach – a practice he calls Uncreative Writing – rather than being mere showmanship, uses language as art-form. In privileging process over semantic meaning Goldsmith promotes a form of materiality which demands that we pay attention to the visual surface, to words as objects and to the page as a site of writing. In Fidget, Goldsmith records all his movements across 13 hours, written without the use of a pronoun. The text enacts the body, and draws us into its subconscious. In Day, Goldsmith transcribes a copy of the New York Times, 1 Sept 2000. Confronted by chunks of text interspersed by lists and columns of numbers, it is text-as-image which interests our eye. Whilst the conceit for these works is the starting point, it is the physicality of both the process and the texts and the authorial choices involved in their making which are central to our understanding of the published artifacts. These works constitute an act of language – Fidget is writing as sculpture, Day is writing as painting.I foreground Goldsmith because his work has enabled me to grow as a writer, undertaking a practice I now refer to as writing-making.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00030151

Keywords:

creative writing, novel, The Cremation Project, short story, Ada & Carter, UncreativeWriting, Kenneth Goldsmith, Fidget, Day

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature

Date:

31 October 2020

Item ID:

30151

Date Deposited:

08 Jun 2021 15:47

Last Modified:

08 Jun 2021 15:49

URI:

https://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/30151

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