Experimental Fiction, Transliteracy & Gaudy Bauble
: Towards A Queer Avant-­garde Poetics

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This practice-led thesis situates the experimental novella Gaudy Bauble within the context of interdisciplinary approaches to experimentation which cross the arts, humanities, literature and sciences. The novella and thesis develop a queer avant-garde poetics and writing methodology that I have called transliteracy. Transliteracy builds on my situated and embodied writing practice as a queer identified novelist and nonnative English speaker. I have mobilised the perceived 'otherness' of English to produce narratively and linguistically experimental prose fictions (Waidner, 2010, 2011). Transliteracy develops this practice by sharing agency (the capacity to influence the narrative) across assemblages of human and nonhuman, fictional and real, material and semiotic 'actors', to use the philosopher of science Bruno Latour's (1987, 1999) term for participants in
    action and process. Transliteracy has allowed me to subvert normative versions of
    authorship, intentionality, causality, and process in Gaudy Bauble, and to produce a radically subverted version of a plot that is intelligible and captivating to the reader. Gaudy Bauble inaugurates a genre I have called agential realist fiction, which is original in its genre-bending, gender-bending, interdisciplinary and queer avant-garde orientation.

    The practice was further shaped according to a generative constraint, which
    dictated that the most marginal actors on and beyond the page were made relevant for the plot. This conceptual apparatus is also reflected in the novella's narrative as a 'not quite' detective story: Gaudy Bauble stages what happens if previously inconsequential actors are allowed to become effectual, rather than actions located within a conventional protagonist. Enacting an "insurrection of subjugated knowledges" (Foucault, 1980, p. 81) in fiction, Gaudy Bauble stages a landscape of reversed power relations, a locally subverted surface of emergence in fiction, where radically nonnormative phenomena and imaginaries can come into being. The thesis connects transliteracy to a wider political LGBTQI+ project and agenda.
    Date of Award23 Sept 2016
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Roehampton


    • Experimental
    • literature
    • fiction
    • queer
    • writing method
    • practice
    • novel

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