It Appeared to be True
—an autofictive novel
This is an artistic research in the form of a novel. It is autofiction: autobiographical as an artistic practice where one’s own life is used as material and fiction as a tool that allows us to grasp reality. It focuses on love, the most treated theme in storytelling, to dig and decode a narrative’s drama arch. Reflecting on tales of love it states that fiction has shaped the ways we think about love. Therefore it was found inevitable to ask: how does it happen? And how is fiction’s love narrative engaged with an individual’s life? The background thinking is that we want to fit the stories, identify ourselves with the characters, and share their lives, their emotions.
The material used in the work is my project Thirty Incomplete Love Stories (2017), an autobiographical collection of short stories. In the form of a book, the stories were given to five psychotherapists and four theatre-makers to react on them.
The outcome of the novel is a narration that grasps the boundaries between theoretical research, fiction prose and autobiographical writing. In between lines the thesis reflects on the work of the visual artists Sophie Calle and Tracey Emin and the writers Jeanette Winterson, Maggie Nelson and Rebecca Solnit to construct my own narration and to understand how our identities are based on the stories we tell ourselves. As a theoretical background this thesis refers to a rainbow of theoreticians from the philosophers Slavoj Žižek, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Niko Kolodny to theorists Rosalind Krauss and Roland Barthes. The work examines views on the dramatic arc of storytelling looking at writings of the philosopher Aristotle, script editor John Yorke and literary critic Markku Soikkeli. By analyzing theories of the psychoanalyst Donald W. Winnicott, the psychological perspective of an autobiographical work is dealt.
The narration is approached from three perspectives dividing the work into three acts: The Dramaturg, The Performer, The Spectator, each written from the point of view of the different protagonists of the process of this artistic practice.
As a process, this has been a psychological and artistic journey trying to understand life. It is a way to reach for a touch – to touch and to be touched. The novel can be read as a fictional and artistic body of work as well as a theoretical research. It is a platform where theoretical and artistic practices intersect ending being a multidisciplinary artistic piece itself, where the reader/spectator becomes a character in the piece. It is a subjective perspective of experiencing art. Ultimately this novel concludes that we do not need to repeat traditional narrative structures, but to create our own ones. Only then, we make sure not to repeat our own traumas.
Soon to be published.