Writing Ugly

Ellis, M 2018, 'Writing Ugly' in Sara Rodrigues and Ela Przybylo (ed.) On the Politics of Ugliness, Springer, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 291-307.


Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: Book Chapters

Title Writing Ugly
Author(s) Ellis, M
Year 2018
Title of book On the Politics of Ugliness
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Cham, Switzerland
Editor(s) Sara Rodrigues and Ela Przybylo
Start page 291
End page 307
Subjects Creative Writing (incl. Playwriting)
Cultural Studies not elsewhere classified
Summary Hélène Cixous has described the act of writing as becoming "a thing with pricked-up ears." She describes doing this work at night: "night becomes a verb. I night." By turning ugliness into a verb, as Cixous does with nighttime, this chapter considers what it might mean "to ugly" when writing. It explores the experience of inhabiting unsettling, resistant, anxious, uncomfortable-in other words "ugly"-spaces whilst writing. It makes a case for the value of encounters with the ugly in one's writing practice and how abiding with, or deliberately turning towards such states is not only a sound method of working but provides an important counter narrative to the social drive to rid ourselves of the unpleasant. It asks: What is "ugly" writing? What does it mean "to ugly" in the context of writing? And in what ways might considering ugliness as part of one's writing practice enable a renewed thinking about what it is to write? Drawing on philosophy, psychoanalysis, and literature it makes a case for the veracity of ugliness-not only politically but as a methodology or practice.
Copyright notice © The Author(s) 2018
DOI - identifier 10.1007/978-3-319-76783-3_14
ISBN 9783319767833
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