‘The Zebra Did It’
Dictionaries as Loci for Surreptitious Fictions
30th January @ 5.00pm
In this presentation I hope to address the ways in which factual dictionaries might be judged to contain or reveal fictitious and fictional content, and whether such content can be assessed as ‘creative’ work. My practice centres upon writing a novel where the main character inserts purposively fictional pieces of information into an encyclopaedic dictionary; my presentation will provide an opportunity to illustrate various strategies by which I have attempted to creatively interrogate the problematic ethics of lexicography (its attempts to ‘register’ rather than ‘fix’ language – and vice versa – for example), literary hoaxes, and whether a dictionary can be claimed as a creative text.
Eley Williams is currently a PhD candidate in Creative Writing, her thesis focusing upon the meeting points between lexicographical probity and creativity. Previous writing commendations include the Christopher Tower poetry prize and awards from the London School of Journalism, the Franco-British Council and London Fringe Festival Short Fiction Awards. Recent projects have included her short story ‘Hang-Ups’ being developed for an interactive installation with ShadowStage, the country’s first contemporary shadow theatre company, and a prose piece set to music by composer Steven Jackson for ‘Noise of Many Waters’, the Royal Northern College of Music’s exhibitive showcase event.