Breaking with taboo: writing about forbidden things

Guntarik, O, Van de Pol, C and Berry, M 2014, 'Breaking with taboo: writing about forbidden things', New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing, pp. 1-10.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Breaking with taboo: writing about forbidden things
Author(s) Guntarik, O
Van de Pol, C
Berry, M
Year 2014
Journal name New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Publisher Routledge
Abstract Some stories are hard to swallow. They contain material that is taboo and some would say the taboo is forbidden territory. Most of us want stories that are neatly packaged complete with the fairy tale happy ending. Most of us want stories that make us laugh and coat us with a good dose of feel good fuzziness. Not many of us want another 'misery memoir'. So what if the subject matter is 'difficult' or disturbs uneasy memories? What happens when the story involves suicide, murder, crime, war, death, incest or rape? What if these were part of our family stories? And as writers, what do we 'do' with these difficult memories? While we might deceive ourselves by remembering 'only the good times', memories attached to taboo issues are often the hardest to write about. This paper reflects on some of these challenges and how we consider them in the light of our own family stories. We explore the tensions between fact and fiction in story telling, and the role that memory, imagination and reflection play in broaching taboo issues.
Subject Creative Writing (incl. Playwriting)
Keyword(s) history
memory
creative non-fiction
taboo issues
DOI - identifier 10.1080/14790726.2014.956121
Copyright notice © 2014 Taylor & Francis
ISSN 1943-3107
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