’Thou’s let oot thy-sel’ fro’ unner th’ sto’an’: the narrative environment of Yallery Brown

Gowar, Mick (2012) ’Thou’s let oot thy-sel’ fro’ unner th’ sto’an’: the narrative environment of Yallery Brown. In: Folklore Society, Folklore and Fantasy Conference, Chicester, UK.

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One of the most challenging tasks facing a writer or storyteller seeking to explain his or her creative process is to address the lack of a critical vocabulary in which to express a writer’s rather than a reader’s, critic’s or teacher’s point of view. As Michael Rosen noted in his PhD thesis, trying to represent the writer’s point of view puts one in contention with the most respected theorists and critics: "According to some I am dead (Barthes). To others whatever I intend is irrelevant (Wimsatt and Beardsley). And to yet others, the whole task is pointless because whatever I think that my writing-language is signifying, it is not (Saussure, Derrida); and anyway, in the final instance it's only the reader who knows what's written (Fish)." In this paper I trace the development of my re-telling of the Lincolnshire folk tale, ‘Yallery Brown’, and how the processes of researching and adapting it for performance as a chamber opera, and subsequently for solo storytelling, helped shape the printed versions published by Scholastic and Ginn. I also present the idea of a ‘narrative environment’, a term I’m appropriating from interior design, and extending Henry James’s notion of the ‘house of fiction, to imagine a fantasy, multi-dimensional space in which stories are re-configured, re-interpreted and re-combined with other whole stories, fragments of stories, poems, songs, images, objects - part of a symbiosis which is not simply self-replicating but dynamically evolving.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2012 15:16
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 19:02
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/219292

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