Document Type

Creative Work

Publication Details

Joshua M. Lobb, I forgot my program so I went to get it back or 101 Reasons, in C. Kennedy (ed.), Best Australian Stories 2010, Collingwood: Black Inc., 206-212.



Research Background

The work is an original short prose piece comprising 101 dot points. It is a part of a larger project exploring place and memory. The research question for the project is: what are the practical and political implications of using real places in fiction? ‘I forgot my programme…’ used as its starting point a fleeting connection made in the city of London.

Research Contribution

The work counters conventional realist representation of space in favour of a structure that represents personal and fragmentary experience. It is a creative response to Barthes’ notion of ‘the Reality Effect’ and de Certeau’s conception of mapping as ‘strategic’ control over meaning. Its structure expands the parameters of the short story form: it experiments with a list form in order to represent fragmentation of time and space. A scholarly paper on the research project, ‘Travelling Partners: using literary studies to support creative writing about real spaces’ was presented in the refereed stream at the 15th Australian Association of Writing Programs in 2010.

Research Significance

The work was runner-up in the 2009 Bridport Prize: the largest open international short story prize, and was included in the Bridport Anthology 2009, edited by Ali Smith and Jackie Kay. The work was selected for Best Australian Stories 2010, edited by Cate Kennedy, published by Black Inc. The Sydney Morning Herald reviewer of Best Australian Stories 2010 singled out ‘I forgot my programme…’, stating: “Joshua Lobb’s tale impresses with its experimental list-making structure” (SMH, 27/11/10).