Memoir – Consider how it would enhance or detract from the memoir by fictionalising the material

I watch a lot of reality TV; Towie, the real housewives of New York, the real housewives of orange county, love island, big brother, made in Chelsea etc. etc. I am fully aware that a lot of it is exaggerated or set up for my entertainment however I choose to ignore that. I prefer to believe it is all real and none of it is fake or set up. Most of the enjoyment comes from knowing that crazy things are happening to real people and being able to make comparisons with your own life and theirs.

When I read a memoir I also assume that some of the content is exaggerated or given a little spin in order to be more entertaining however if I read a memoir and came to find out that most of it was fictionalised I think I would be very disappointed. I pick up a memoir in order to find out about someone’s life and to draw parallels between myself and other people to find out that it was made up would be very disappointing. If I am going to read a fictional memoir I might as well read a fictional novel.

Memoir

Where are you from? It’s a pretty simple question but one that I always struggle to answer. I live in Stockton on tees and have done for almost three years now. Before that I lived in Bournemouth for around 13 years. I was born in Wolverhampton and lived there until I was 8. My mum was born in Wolverhampton and my dad is Irish. So where am I from? I have no idea. When I think of home I think of Bournemouth so maybe that’s where I’m from, but is home just an illusion. Is home a city or a town or is home just wherever I am? In that case home would be Stockton.

My name is Kellie I was born 6th November 1993 and I have no idea where home is.

Short Story

Ana’s apartment is cold, quiet dark, very basic. She doesn’t have a lot of possessions, her lounge has only a sofa, a coffee table, a tall silver lamp and a large leather trunk none of which match. Her house doesn’t resemble her personality at all. She was loud and funny her outfit always resembled a rainbow, bright colours and lots of sparkle. Her apartment is strange, it could be literally anyone’s, anyone’s but hers.

I didn’t know Ana not really. We had mutual friends and I we used to go to the same bars and clubs so I would see her around but most of what I know about her is from the newspaper. “A bright young spirited girl with a brilliant sense of humour” that’s what one article said “Witty, colourful and smart” said another. She can’t have been that smart I remember thinking. Now I’m stood in her apartment I’m met with an overwhelming feeling of sadness but also intrigue. I didn’t mean to come here it just sort of happened. I have been reading a lot about her recently, newspapers, blogs ect and one of the blogs mentioned her apartment was up for sale. I checked and there it was, 2-bedroom apartment for sale viewings welcome and here I am at a viewing a flat that belonged to a dead girl I barley know.  The estate agent keeps looking at me eager to know if he’s going to get any commission out of me. I sigh, spin around on my heels and walk towards the bedroom.

Her bedroom is small the smaller out of the two which is strange. The other room the larger one is totally empty just a cream carpet, cream walls and a large window. Her room is also cream. I know its her because she has a picture on her bedside table, her and what I have come to understand (through the newspaper) is her sister. They don’t look alike at all. Ana had dark hair cut into a very precise bob, pale skin and was only around 5”3 however her sister looks so tall in this picture almost twice the size, her hair is blonde, long. She is wearing a cap and gown. It must have been her sister’s graduation. It’s a sweet picture.

I can feel a warmth on my neck as if someone is sanding very very close to me. I didn’t hear anyone come in and last I checked the estate agent was in the kitchen. I turn around. “Hey Shelley” “oh it’s you, you gave me a fright” “what are you doing here” “what am I doing here, what are you doing here. I’m here for a viewing” you do know who’s flat this is don’t you” He looks at me intently, I’m so confused. I didn’t know he new Ana, how did he get in here, why didn’t I hear him. I look up at him and his face has changed, its contorted and angry. I start to walk, out of the room towards the kitchen to where I know the estate agent is. He’s gone.

Script

Delilah and Bryan are at a party at a mutual friend’s house, people start to leave slowly and before they know it they are the only two people left in the room.

 

Delilah – I must leave immediately

Bryan – I’ll put the kettle on

Delilah – My mother will be waiting she absolutely hates it when I’m late.

Bryan – Do you take sugar darling?

(Brief pause)

Bryan – Milk?

Delilah – I hope it’s not to cold out, I haven’t brought my jacket.

Bryan – I’ll just make it how I think you would like it and then you can scold me if I get it wrong.

 

Delilah gives up and takes a seat on the sofa.

Epic Theatre

Epic theatre is a theatrical movement arising in the early to mid 20th century from the theories and practice of a number of theatre practitioners who responded to the political climate of the time through the creation of a new political theatre. Epic theatre is not meant to refer to the scale or the scope of the work, but rather to the form that it takes. Epic theatre emphasises the audience’s perspective on and reaction to the piece through a variety of techniques that deliberately cause them to individually engage in a different way. The purpose of epic theatre is not to encourage an audience to suspend their disbelief, but rather to force them to think introspectively about the particular moments that are occurring on stage and why they are happening a certain way.

Bertolt Brecht

Brecht was interested in self-consciously retelling a story rather than realistically embodying the events of a narrative. His techniques encouraged the spectator to view the way in which playwright and actors presented the tale, exposing the mechanisms of theatre, and promoting an attitude of curiosity rather than the emotional and empathic response to the acting typical of the naturalistic and expressionistic forms dominant in German theatre at the time

Brecht’s first experiment in epic theatre was Man Equals Man written and produced by the ‘Brecht collective’ with the significant participation of Elisabeth Hauptmann, whose translations of Kipling were employed in the writing of the play. The production encouraged the spectator to view its unfolding narrative with the ‘expert’ attention of a boxing fan who, while concerned about the outcome, was critically engaged in judging the boxers methods of achieving it. Somewhat vaguely located in colonial British India, Man Equals Man is a parable of the malleability of human identity, exposing the way in which an authoritarian social order, in this case, the army, manipulates and moulds individuals to make them useful as soldiers, factory workers, pupils etc.

Theatre of the absurd

Theater of the Absurd refers to a literary movement in drama popular throughout European countries from the 1940s to approximately 1989. Critics believe that Theater of the Absurd arose as a movement from the doubts and fears surrounding World War II and what many people saw as the degeneration of traditional moral and political values. The movement flourished in France, Germany, and England, as well as in Scandinavian countries.

With the appearance of En Attendant Godot (Waiting for Godot) at the Théâtre de Babylone in Paris in 1953, the literary world was shocked by the appearance of a drama so different and yet so intriguing that it created the term “Theater of the Absurd,” and the entire group of dramas which developed out of this type of theater is always associated with the name of Samuel Beckett. His contribution to this particular genre allows us to refer to him as the grand master, or father, of the genre. While other dramatists have also contributed significantly to this genre, Beckett remains its single, most towering figure.

A beginning, middle and end structure, which underpins all conventional narrative, is abandoned in favour of a non-linear – and often cyclical – approach, and there is a deliberate absence of the cause-and-effect relationship used to link scenes. The plays assume a dream-like state, operating in images rather than in coherent dialogue and action. All meaning remains ambiguous.

Absurdist playwrights deliberately create characters void of motivation or purpose as well as the ability to develop. Instead, characters remain in a state of limbo, out of sync with each other and their surroundings.

Free verse or formal?

Poems can be constructed in either free verse or formal verse. Most poets today write free verse, which is open to pattern and is recognised as non conformist and rhyme less. Formal poetry however follows “rules” regarding stanza length and meter or rhyme patterns. There are several traditional, commonly-known types of formal poetry such as a Haiku, a sonnet and the sestina.

Jamaica.

Take me back to Jamaica

There is no racism here, they told me

There is no hate, they told me

Music is life and their life is music, they told me

 

The sand is warm, I’m telling you

The ocean so blue, I’m telling you

The clocks go so slow, I’m telling you

 

There’s monsters in the water, they warned me

The rum will make you crazy, they warned me

The sugar cane is addictive, they warned me

 

Take me back to Jamaica

We only have each-other (it’s warm)

In matching red tracksuits, we board

The train we leave crying

And then there is sand

Around my legs and in my toes, it’s wet (it’s warm)

We have our spot

 

A jacket potato every night

Bunk beds and lilo’s

Ice cream and Sainsbury’s (it’s warm)

It’s bright

 

The sky is blue

Not one memory of rain (it’s warm)

The longest summer

 

Let’s repeat it

Let’s swim and sun bath and

Love each other (it’s warm)

We only have each other

 

My influence for this poem came from E.E. cummings [I carry your heart with me (I carry it in]. I wanted to produce a poem with a similar structure and form. Cummins used free verse in this poem which is something I tried to replicate. Cummins also used literary device in this poem such as parallelism, anaphora and trochee. In a way cummings created his own form that doesn’t adhere to any of the traditional rules. This is something that really inspired me.

Form.

Form is the style in which a piece of text is written in, for example: novel, short story, play, dramatic monologue and sonnet. What is also included in the form of a text is the genre it is written in, examples can include gothic or comedy. The form of a text is important because it indicates the writer’s intentions, characters or key themes.

 

Form, in poetry, can be understood as the physical structure of the poem. The length of the lines, their rhythms, their system of rhymes and repetition. Some forms can be simple and open-ended, such as blank verse, or can be a complex system of rhymes, rhythms and repeated lines within a fixed number of lines, as a sonnet or villanelle is.