Doctor of Creative Arts
School of Creative Arts
Bobis, Merlinda, Circling the mountain: from naming to namelessness: towards writing and performing a contemporary epic poem, Doctor of Creative Arts thesis, School of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong, 1994. http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/948
Circling The Mountain: From Naming To Namelessness is an annotated document which supports a 20,000 word epic poem (in two versions: English and Filipino) entitled Kantada ng Babaing Mandirigma/Cantata of The Warrior Woman Daragang Magayon. This explanatory text documents the process involved in writing and performing my epic, in which I recast a traditional myth about the active volcano Mt. Mayon in my region Bikol in the Philippines.
Through a discussion on feminism, language and the epic genre, this story of my creative process also explains the thesis of my epic poem: re-inventing the Self beyond rigidified and oppressive definitions of identity. This process of becoming is examined through three principal sections: naming, unnaming and namelessness.
Part One, NAMING, contextualises my creative process by establishing the inhibiting or oppressive names, labels, stereotypes and myths which define the Self (in terms of its gender or language), and which motivated me to write the epic.
Part Two, UNNAMING deals with my actual writing and performing of the epic. It illustrates how I break the signifiers established in Part One by re-visioning the Self beyond the definitions imposed by any constraining tradition or ideology.
Part Three, NAMELESSNESS, concludes the commentary on my creative process and assesses the politics of such a process and the epic. It asserts that oppressive signification may be avoided if the Self becomes 'nameless' in its ever-shifting identities.
Initially, this documentation protests against rigidified naming (in which the Self is defined as an absolute and fixed identity by its sexual or ideological Other). Such an issue is resolved with this proposition: 'Unname' the Self into namelessness by allowing. the fluid, healthy, interactive and non-hostile play of its multiple Selves and Others.