Learning How to Breathe

Linda Neil (2009). Learning How to Breathe PhD Thesis, English, Media Studies and Art History, The University of Queensland.

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n36227589_PhDCW_abstract_1_.pdf 36227589_PhDCW_abstract[1].pdf application/pdf 80.90KB 1
n36227589_PhDCW_totalthesis_1_.pdf 36227589_PhDCW_totalthesis[1].pdf application/pdf 4.29MB 10
Author Linda Neil
Thesis Title Learning How to Breathe
School, Centre or Institute English, Media Studies and Art History
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2009-07
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Dr Bronwyn Lea
Dr Ruth Blair
Total pages 326
Total black and white pages 326
Subjects 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing
Abstract/Summary Abstract LEARNING HOW TO BREATHE This PhD project is comprised of two distinct but related components. The first, Learning How to Breathe, is a full-length memoir which tells the story of my return to Brisbane to look after my mother who contracts Parkinson's disease. The themes of the memoir are various — the impact of illness on a family, the relationship between a mother and a daughter, and in particular,the role and meaning of music in an individual's life and in the life of a family or community. At the heart of the memoir is a preoccupation with exploring the idea of family and what it really means to be an individual who is also part of a community. It is also, on a metaphorical level, about the transforming ofanger and estrangement into love and informed compassion, and of learning to more clearly understand how the threads and echoes of the past wend their way into the stories of the present. The memoir is divided into three sections and has been arranged with attentiveness to the overarching themes of suffering, release, and love. The theme of music recurs throughout the memoir, providing a link between the various threads and voices of its multiple stories. The accompanying exegesis, “Confessions from the Keyboard”, deals with the various key issues that I had to consider during the writing of Learning How to Breathe. The essay is divided into two main chapters, book-ended by a prologue and an epilogue, and refers throughout to several key writers, including Roland Barthes, Stephen Muecke, Julia Kristeva, Hélène Cixous, and Nancy K Miller. The first chapter, "The Writer as Transcriber", explores how oral narrative, in the form of recorded interview, monologue, and dialogue, is transcribed into text. The second chapter, "The Point From Which We Started", considers issues of writing origins, filiation, and bricolage in the memoir, while the epilogue explores the function and resonance of two particular metaphors that appear at the beginning and the end of Learning How to Breathe.
Keyword Memoir, life-writing, mother/daughter, music, singing, family, transcription, oral

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Created: Mon, 28 Sep 2009, 13:55:05 EST by Ms Linda Neil on behalf of Library - Information Access Service