Doctor of Creative Arts
Faculty of Creative Arts
Gorman, B. C., The Male Line and epic drama: an investigation of epic drama in theory and in practice using traditional sources, Doctor of Creative Arts thesis, Faculty of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong, 1998. http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/936
This project is an attempt to examine a process of creativity - particular as it relates to the writing of an epic play - and to an epic play to which the theories examined in the course of research and investigation can be applied, bearing in mind that the Annotations which embody this examination are secondary to, and focused upon, the play.
In writing this DCA I bear in mind the need, as I perceive it, to and vary the narrative base of the epic play referred to in several Firstly, by developing and enhancing the narratives of characters the play other than its nominal protagonist, Thomas "Thossie" d'Arcy, to create a more multivocal text so as to tell the stories of those marginalised characters, especially the women in his life who, in traditional epic narrative, would appear only in so far as was necessary for the telling of his story. In this way I would attempt to subvert meta-narrative of the patriarchy.
Secondly, I would attempt to vary the narrative in terms of its traditional form by creating an epic protagonist, in this case Thossie, who was unsympathetic to an audience. Thirdly, I would attempt to vary the form of the traditional epic in the writing of this play exploring Thossie's character in a little more depth and detail might be usual in a traditionally structured epic narrative, of mode. In attempting this I would apply theories and practices used traditional epic poetry and prose to the dramatic mode of the epic. overall aim would be to show how epic drama may, if modified, continue to be relevant for a postmodern, postcolonial world.This project is part family history - except that, in filling in historical gaps in my knowledge of y grandfather's life, and in my desire to distance my nominal protagonist from my historical grandfather, I have changed facts, added or deleted scenes and details, and altered names and dates. The result is, therefore, a fictional narrative based some members of my paternal family.
The Annotations to this DCA are in two parts: a Journal, and a Theory Section. The Journal is a discursive document couched in often subjective language, which admits anecdotal observations, employs sometimes impressionistic style, and speaks from a personal perspective to reflect upon my creative practice, from day to day, have written the play. The Theory Section attempts to come to grips with traditional theories of the epic and to relate them to The Male Line. In this, I break new ground by not basing my examination solely on the theories of Bertolt Brecht.
The Annotations themselves described a curve during the six years writing, from being purely an examination of, and a reflection upon, creative techniques and processes, to being an examination of, and reflection upon, the nature of epic drama - where the epic is the form which this creative project took.
This DCA project, then, interrogates the patriarch, reflects on creative practice, and applies traditional theories of the epic, drawn from and prose, to both create, and reflect upon, a non-traditional, multivocal, postcolonial epic form.