Reading and Writing With a Tree : Practising Nature Writing as Enquiry.

Nelson, Camila (2012) Reading and Writing With a Tree : Practising Nature Writing as Enquiry. Doctoral thesis, University of the Arts London in collaboration with Falmouth University.

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Abstract / Summary

This thesis reframes, or reforms, ‘nature writing’ (‘Nature Writing Reformed’) through the practical and theoretical recombination of human, tree, and page. Understandings of ‘writing’, ‘nature’, and their phrasal relation in ‘nature writing’, are explored through a sustained enquiry into the reading and writing practices principally undertaken by the author (Camilla Nelson) in relation to one specific apple tree in the walled garden of University College Falmouth’s Tremough Campus, Cornwall. The central claim of this thesis is that composition is always environmentally constructive and constructed: how (the method with which) you read and write, and where (the environment in which) you read and write, i.e. the situation and materials you read and write with, affect not only the composition of the written text but the composition of the human, as well as the other-than-human, entities involved in this practice.

This thesis is explicitly structured as an interweave of variously material (word; page; room; box; walled garden; library; studio; tree) and conceptual (word; page; theory; footnote; hyperlink; field of research) framing devices (and / or environments). The structure of this thesis and that of the orchard and studio installations, which together constitute the final PhD research submission, play on the variety of framing and reframing that occurs in relation to the spatio-temporal specifics of material and conceptual composition (as evidenced in the Media Log). This ‘reform’ of nature writing, as an interweave of human and other-than-human environments (or frames), is developed in relation to Mark Johnson’s expanded theory of ‘mind’ by way of the conceptual and material practice of metaphor (Johnson, 2007). This thesis combines the theories and practices derived from the (prinicipal) field of ‘Nature Writing’ (as defined in the correspondingly titled chapter), with those suggested by contemporary developments in cognitive philosophy, neuroscience, microbiology, systems theory, and translation studies.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Nature in literature. Ecology. Authorship. Apple trees. Tremough.
Subjects: Geography & Environment > Cornwall
Writing & Journalism > Creative Writing
Writing & Journalism > Literature
Depositing User: Lucy Seale
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2019 11:23
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2022 16:27


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