This morning brought a rather traumatic discovery. The word I thought I had coined late last year — telemorphosis — turns out to have been in use for over 100 years and refers to nothing at all related to my intent that it would define my theory about how memory is crucial in the process of adaptation in writing. A big disappointment! And a big nuisance, as I will now have to devise another word/term to try and express what I’m on about in this exploration which is central to my PhD project.
The first thing I immediately did was the elimination of the blog which I began only two days ago (under the name of Telemorphosis) and set up a new blog — this one, titled Memories 2 Go. Fortunately it was possible to export everything from the original site to this new one, so not too much damage.
Once again the fact of the Web has proven itself. It’s highly unlikely I would otherwise have learnt of this duplication of terms. Might have become a big problem when I submit my thesis next year. A good lesson in never taking anything for granted. But really, who knew? Who would have thought? Did you ever hear the word before?
Let me tell you a little about this PhD I’ve been working on for the last 7 years. Actually I made the decision to have a go at getting a doctorate over 9 years ago. First hurdle was to gain entry. Didn’t have an Honours degree so (despite holding a degree in English Lit and a post-grad degree in Education) I needed to get a Masters as a first step. This wasn’t a hardship, quite the contrary. For two years I just wrote heaps of stuff — short stories, poetry, a play, a novella and 35K words of a still unfinished novel. Got several of the stories and poems published and finished up with a M.Litt degree awarded cum laude.
Then I was ready to start on the PhD. Right from the beginning my interest has been in adaptation; how do stories get changed from one form into another? What is the process in the writing which allows that to happen?I had a notion to try and develop a model, for want of a better word, which could be used to guide a writer who decided to adapt a story into some different form from what it was currently. Well, that didn’t work out too well. Seems every adaptation is essentially unique. I was back to square one. After sitting in my chair and cogitating for some months I came up with the opinion that memory has got something to do with what goes on when an adaptation is being undertaken. So that’s what I’m now puzzling out.
More about how this is going another time.
But just to finish:
Poems, plays, stories:
Their words unlock mysteries
All about ourselves
Ruari Jack Hughes