Managing hysteria: Exploring the writer’s voice through verbatim work

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    Verbatim work places a premium on the invisibility of the artist. This is in tension to Neo-Romantic conceptions of the ‘writer’s voice’, often characterized as the expression of the sovereign individual. Such a tension raises the question of to what extent an expression of self is desirable and what we can learn about artistic voice in verbatim work. This article discusses such questions through the lens of a commission to creatively respond to the National Archive’s material on mental health. This resulted in a piece of ‘contrapuntal radio’ that dramatized the voices of militant suffragettes (c. 1907‐14). By consideration of the process of production, the article will argue that often, considerations of self-expression (where the artist is a unique voice transmitting their individuality), threatens a more productive self-expression, where an artist is a disinterested expresser of human feeling.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)237-248
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Writing in Creative Practice
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


    • creative writing
    • Oral history
    • Archives
    • verbatim work
    • Creativity
    • Romanticism
    • Authorship
    • Verbatim work
    • Creative writing
    • Suffragettes
    • Voice


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