Doris Lessing and the art of memory workshop

Ref: C2227146

In Under My Skin, the first volume of her autobiography, Doris Lessing wrote that "There is no doubt that fiction makes a better job of the truth". But what is the relationship between truth and memory? And between memory and fiction? In this course we shall reflect on the ways in which memory infomed Doris Lessing's writing. There will, in addition, be a chance to apply these thoughts to a piece of creative writing.

Course aim

The purpose of this half day class is to provoke a deeper understanding of the many difficulties which writing from memory may pose to authors. We shall concentrate upon the work of Doris Lessing.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course has no pre requisites. It is for anyone who is interested in the way in which authors draw upon their memories.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Explore the range of sources within the Doris Lessing collection at UEA's Archive of Contemporary Literature..
  • Discuss the role of memory in Doris Lessing's writing, with particular attention to Alfred and Emily.
  • Translate a memory of my own into a piece of creative writing.

How will I be taught?

  • This is a half day school. There will be discussion, close readings, an element of film and a writing exercise.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • This is a half day school delivered in cooperation with the UEA Archive for Contemporary Literature. There is no assessment.

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing is essential. Some means of writing would be useful.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • If you are inclined to some reading before the class, we would recommend Doris Lessing's Alfred and Emily.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Many students of the Norwich branch are already engaged in significant voluntary commitments.

Download full course information sheet

Doris Lessing and the art of memory workshop


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