Writing wrongs

Writing wrongs: the art of crossing over to ‘unbite’ the tongue

Abstract: In a new book about studio spaces and studio practice, Brisbane painter Joe Furlonger states: ‘The happy accident is probably my motto, I think the only way forward is by making mistakes, and I make plenty.’ If you sin once, you can sin again. In this article I am exploring this idea of ‘happy accident’ as it relates to writing a very particular and ‘rebellious’ Queensland story. How as an artist you begin to rely on these mistakes as a means of propelling yourself forward in your creative endeavours; how mistakes, even when they show you up in a not-so-good light, become a way of opening yourself up to the imagination and new possibilities. To write anything a writer must betray something. It is transgressive. It places you at the very juncture of risk. For any writer, collisions of this ‘oops-I’ve-made-a-mistake’ kind can be confronting, how more so for someone ‘mining the body’ for her material and direction. In this case, in writing a ‘return to Brisbane fiction’, there’s a chance of ‘making different’, transformation. In other words, autobiography/fiction as a reckoning, a ‘righting’. To reclaim self. Be with the body. Here find the tongue.

Published in The And Is Papers – The Refereed Papers Of The 12th Conference, Held In Canberra During November 2007

ISBN: 978 174 088 2736, Eds Associate Professor Jen Webb and Jordan Williams

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