Stones displaced: retaining the nuances of Maltese culture through short English fiction

Duivenvoorden, A (2023) Stones displaced: retaining the nuances of Maltese culture through short English fiction. PhD thesis, Bath Spa University.

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This thesis is composed of two parts: a short story collection, entitled Stones Displaced and a critical commentary. The title of the collection, Stones Displaced, is taken from a line in Oliver Friġġieri’s poem We’re Gurgling water (1993), in which the poet mourns a Malta that has lost its identity and compares the Maltese diaspora to ‘stones displaced’ (Friġġieri, 1993). Since my characters are also trying to establish what their identity means to them, either through rediscovering themselves abroad, or through returning to the island, I felt that the line was very apt for my characters. My research emerged from a desire to explore the experience of unbelonging and hybrid identity of a Maltese community through English-language short fiction. Stones Displaced is a short story cycle that depicts the social transitions of Malta through the eyes of lonesome, isolated figures, living on the margins of its society. Through my characters’ experiences of transnationality and unbelonging, I try to understand my own journey of growing up in a secular island nation with a foreign parent and surname. This thesis focuses on how the short story cycle is a strong medium for communicating the lives of those from minority groups. Its scope is to find ways by which the nuances of Maltese life could be retained when writing English-language fiction. The critical component is divided into two main chapters. In the first chapter, I explore how my writing practice helped me identify three main ways of retaining the nuances of Maltese in English- language dialogues. Chapter Two looks into the short form itself, and four other techniques that can be used when depicting Maltese setting and life with a foreign audience in mind. This thesis can be beneficial to those who like myself are preoccupied with representing minority cultures in languages other than their own.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)

This research was funded by the Maltese Government's Tertiary Education Scholarships Scheme (TESS). The document attached to this record is the contextualising research section of the thesis only. It does not include the creative component, which is the manuscript for the short story collection 'Stones displaced'.

Keywords: PhD by Practice, creative writing, short stories, Malta, Maltese culture, identity, belonging, transnational writing, minority groups, English-language fiction, foreign audiences
Divisions: School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
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Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2023 16:28
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2024 18:29
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