Plum sickness : a novella; and, Wrestling the blue cactus : grappling for meaning through story and the self : writing depressive illness

Bond, Sue (2001). Plum sickness : a novella; and, Wrestling the blue cactus : grappling for meaning through story and the self : writing depressive illness Master's Thesis, School of English, Media Studies and Art History, University of Queensland.

       
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Author Bond, Sue
Thesis Title Plum sickness : a novella; and, Wrestling the blue cactus : grappling for meaning through story and the self : writing depressive illness
School, Centre or Institute School of English, Media Studies and Art History
Institution University of Queensland
Publication date 2001
Thesis type Master's Thesis
Supervisor Jan McKemmish
Total pages 276
Language eng
Subjects L
751002 Languages and literacy
420202 Australian and New Zealand
Formatted abstract

This thesis contains two parts: a novella, “Plum Sickness” and a critical essay, “Wrestling the Blue Cactus: grappling for meaning through story and the self: writing depressive illness”.  

 

The novella tells a story of Judith Black, a young woman with depressive illness. It begins with her admission to hospital after a suicide attempt, then goes back in time to explore her relationships with her lover Michael, and her parents John and Aileen Black. There are fantasy passages showing her attempts to deal with negative attitudes to mental illness as well as the illness itself.  

 

The critical essay is a deliberate effort to explore the various influences on my approach to the writing of depressive illness without referring to any personal illness experience of my own, and without making detailed reference to "Plum Sickness". I wanted to write a piece that could stand on its own, as well as an accompaniment to the novella, and I kept the depressed person in mind as my reader. The essay begins with particular medical writings, is followed by memoir, Anne Sexton's poetry, Virginia Woolf, The Imitation of Christ, self-help literature, and finishes with self-representation in fiction and an exploration of storytelling through "The Blank Page" by Isak Dinesen.

Keyword Depression
Fiction
Writing depressive illness
Additional Notes

Other Title: Wrestling the blue cactus : grappling for meaning through story and the self : writing depressive illness

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (non-RHD) - UQ staff and students only
 
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Created: Fri, 21 Nov 2008, 20:40:22 EST