The story in my foot: writing and the body
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Where do stories reside? Where do we find them to tell them from? Where should the writer focus the search for stories to fuel an output of poetry or fiction? Traditionally, the creative writing process is thought to involve reading the world as a text, reading actual texts, and 'reading' the memory or the imagination. But, following Merleau-Ponty (1945), recent studies of experience and the body by Yuasa (1987), Varela et al (1991), Grosz (1994), Clark (1998) and Gallagher (2006) suggest there may be another repository for story: the body itself beyond the brain. Surprising anecdotal evidence suggests that in some human-parts transplants, memories are transplanted too. This paper investigates aspects of the idea that stories are lodged in our whole bodies, and reviews some classroom exercises employing the concept of cellular memory.
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Creative Writing (incl. Playwriting)