Paths into Research: Fiction Seminar

Updated: Jan 26

Laura Hopes


Fiction Writing Assignment

This week’s writing assignment: think of any work of fiction which you might refer to or has been useful to your own research or understanding. What does this piece of writing do for your understanding that maybe has not emerged in other theory/criticism? Remember that le Guin describes the story as being able to carry meaning – as a medicine bundle, in a particular, powerful relation to each other. e.g. building atmosphere, travelling in time, inducing sympathy, introducing multiple voices, lacunae, unreliable narrator, conversations, chapters Using some of the techniques deployed

A Battle of Two Voices…

Vaslav Nijinsky, super-heroic, falls from the conflict between himself and Sergei Diaghilev.

Vaslav Nijinsky V. Sergei Diaghilev

Nijinsky - As he flew, so he grew, soaring great heights that no other could achieve.

Diaghilev - Such dizzying heights just to fall and then crash.

N - Like the trail of an icy comet that flew near to the sun he revealed the train of his talent to this world.

D - In such a short time he burnt out… like the comet… like Icarus.

N - He appeared virtually super-heroic within his ability to exemplify his talents - talents beyond the capabilities of ordinary people.

D - And how fragile he became, like a wild bird with its wings clipped.

N - Movement was his means of communication, not words.

D - Finally silenced and no one really knows, or cares, why.

N - Adored was he then in the height of his leaps, and adored he is still now.

D - But that wasn’t enough, it was never enough.

N - He was celebrated then as the greatest dancer of his time and still is to this day.

D - But this wasn’t enough, nothing was ever enough.

N - His political views were to be kind to everyone.

D - But this didn’t save his soul.

N - He spoke simply.

D - But without affection.

N - His soul is sick, he is incurable.

D - Such beauty turned inward.

N - He wanted to be understood by feeling.

D - Yet his feelings remained misunderstood.

N - He was man and not God.

D - Yet thought he was God and not man.

N - His madness was his love toward mankind.

D - Was this the love that then turned to hate.

N - He was not God, not man but a beast and predator.

D - He was not a beast nor predator nor God nor man.

N - He started to dance like God.

D - To then think he was God.

N - He understood what an artist is because he was an artist himself.

D - And that understanding turned in and destroyed him.

N - His sickness was that of the soul not of the mind.

D - Fragile he became from this sickness of the mind and not of the soul.

N - He knew how to suffer.

D - He knew how to make all around suffer.

N - He felt the Earth.

D - But that wasn’t enough.

N - The greatest dancer of his time.

D - But still this wasn’t anywhere close to enough.

N - Who did this terrible thing to me?

D - What did this terrible thing to him?

To be continued...

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