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Title: Lionhouse
Authors: Reilly, Kerry-Jo
Advisors: Hubble, N
Keywords: Creative writing;Feminist aesthetics;The Gaze
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: My novel, Lionhouse, opens with a woman who has decided not to leave her house until the New World comes. She is often completely alone, and as she begins to go back through her memories, we see her as a girl negotiating childhood and adolescence in the context of a fundamentalist religion and the contemporary world. We see how she goes from roaming vast spaces with her friends to remaining inside her small home for many years. The novel explores her husband’s fears, obsessions, surveillance and struggles. The text is made up of disparate, intersecting records that never reach totality. All of this takes place in a populous city built on karst terrain, the overloading of which leads to a huge collapse in the landscape. Before the collapse, the book is infused with a sense of something moving underneath, the world being chipped away at, and after the collapse, a breathtaking enormity is revealed. This leads to the woman’s emergence from her house as her life also opens out before her. The nature of this woman’s confinement is extreme – although realistic – but through it the novel also reflects on the other ways we are contained and allow ourselves to be contained. In this story, falsehoods paper over deeper truths, and yet a sense of that truth survives within people. It also explores the difficulty we have in changing our minds, in shifting our conception of things, especially when we are invested in a particular output of our existing perceptions. Feminist aesthetic theory and practice helped me ask questions about perception and its relationship to the conception of knowledge. Feminist aesthetics produces not only artistic effects but also profound political statements and acts of resistance. I examined the ways in which writer Siri Hustvedt engages with these ideas and uses disturbances, gaps, holes, shadows and ruptures in her work to stand in opposition to the monocular certainty and scopic regime of patriarchal culture. Through my own feminist aesthetic praxis I sought to join other writers in examining what is being done to people, how it is being done and how it is being justified as well as in exploring how developing an understanding of our own, and others others’ standpoints may lead to a more just, humane way of looking and living
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London.
Appears in Collections:English and Creative Writing
Dept of Arts and Humanities Theses

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