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Research Background: The work is an original short prose piece. It uses as its starting point the hypothesis that narratives surrounding gay male sexual encounters tend towards visual details, where as heterosexual narratives often depend on verbal exchanges. The research questions for the project are: what are the narrative and formal implications of writing about heterosexual and homosexual ‘courtship’? Which narrative form is the more limiting for characters’ agency?
Research Contribution: The work is situated in the methodology of research-led practice. It is a practical application of research, combining analysis of dialogue in realism with the writing on the ideological implications of form. In particular, it draws on Ermarth’s proposal that dialogue produces a ‘unified field of relationships’(Ermarth 1983, 81), Vernon’s assertion that eavesdropping is a manifestation of capitalist (heteronormative) discourse(1984,87) and Pearce and Owens’ examination of realism as a ‘a system of power that authorizes certain representations while blocking, prohibiting or invalidating others’(Pearce 1999,399). In this, it attempts to make explicit a formal mode of resistance intuitively used in writings of gay male sex, such as the work of Christos Tsiolkas and Adam Mars-Jones, and in the diaries of Joe Orton.
Research Significance: Based on my writing in this field (Wilde Tales (2004), Who’s he when he’s at home? (2011)), I was invited to submit the work to TEXT, Australia’s leading Creative Writing journal. The work extends research in the field of ‘queer’ literature, by linking narrative theory with queer readings of literature.