Teaching the Wisdom of Uncertainty

Stevens, K. (2017) Teaching the Wisdom of Uncertainty. In: Great Writing Conference 2017, 1-2 July 2017, Imperial College, London. (Unpublished)

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When a novel is ‘boiling up’, Margaret Forster has no clue as to where it is heading. It is simply a ‘shadowy vision and odd lines’ in her head. Forster’s trust in this elusive process suggests an openness to chance and unpredictability, which is something professional writers welcome, for these unquantifiable qualities allow for the mysterious gift of discovery. In my edited collection Writing a First Novel, writers speak of the uncertain and chaotic process of writing their first novels. Good writing does not simply come from a ‘how to’ book, a check list or from being told what to do and when to do it. Indeed, Hanif Kureishi asserts that ‘most writers do not understand what they are doing’. My presentation will explore the tensions of teaching ‘the wisdom of uncertainty’ (Milan Kundera) in an age when fee-paying students increasingly seek definitive answers on the process of creation.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Items (Paper)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN3311 Prose
Divisions: Academic Areas > Institute of Arts and Humanities > English and Creative Writing
Event Title: Great Writing Conference 2017
Event Location: Imperial College, London
Event Dates: 1-2 July 2017
Depositing User: Karen Stevens
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2019 13:05
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2019 13:05
URI: https://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/4179

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