Literally Geography

by Fiona Ferbrache

In the Welsh village of Hay-on-Wye, the 2010 Hay Festival of Literature and Arts came to a close on Sunday.  Although primarily associated with books and their authors, the festival has expanded into comedy, musical performance and film previews.  Among the guest line-up this year were the usual array of literary giants, as well as internationally-renowned academics, and a few MPs – Deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg was a guest on the last day and spoke of the government’s ambitions for electoral reform.

Staying with the theme of literature, I enjoyed reading a co-authored interdisciplinary paper this month in TIBG.  Writing together from the University of Exeter, Cornwall, geographer Catherine Brace and Adeline Johns-Putra, from the department of English, describe a project that was conducted between academics from literary studies and from geography.  The aim of their project was to explore the creative writing process; firstly from the perspective of writers engaged in the process of writing for pleasure and, secondly, to question how the ephemeral practice of writing can be captured and understood.  The concept of inspiration plays a significant role in this article, as do representational and non-representational theory.  The paper ends with the observation that “the acts of reading aloud to other writers, sharing writing and giving and receiving criticism form part of the performative element of being a writer”.  This is where literary festivals, such as Hay, become important events, not just for authors, but all sorts of writers, thinkers and, of course, the audiences.

Read about the 2010 Hay Festival through its sponsor: The Guardian

Read the Brace and Johns-Putra article in TIBG: Recovering inspiration in the spaces of creative writing

More about the Hay Festival here

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