Thursday, August 9th 2018, 7pm, SomoS artist-in-residence Angela Flury will read from the manuscript of her debut novel Berlin Cards & Crimes, which she is writing in and about Berlin. Flury, also a professor of English and world literature at Depauw University, will take the opportunity to discuss her creative writing process and look at contemporary definitions of expanded writing, including issues that both she and her protagonist are intimately aware of—issues like the challenging and rewarding nature of translations, of creative writing, and the adventure and stimulation of the walking novel and psychogeography as a genre.
The structure and process of Berlin Cards & Crimes reflects Flury’s interest in serialization in literature. In the re-creation of this kind of writing/creative process, she pays homage to a popular format—one which was especially so for 19th-century publications of novels that stood for a kind of democratization. In turning the writer into just another capitalist worker, the serialization genre exemplifies and embodies industrialization itself. Producing in bulk, this kind of artistic production did away with any lofty ideas of inspiration, and simply produced, on time, week after week, while creating a class-less literature for the masses.
With a background in literary criticism, Flury is unafraid of analysis and equally ready to apply this type of conceptual legwork to her own creative process, viewing the writing of a novel itself as a sort of inquiry into the method of creativity itself. She finds a distinct kinship and resonance with the methodology of contemporary artists who themselves engage more and more often in a research-based practice with roots in contemporary philosophy. She uses these associations to drive her own exploration of what it means to dissolve boundaries between the critical and the creative in writing and literature.
In her own words:
''In writing a novel I am interested in exploring the tension between a psychogeographical approach, to which the connection between spirit/mind and place is essential, and a storytelling approach that relies on plotting.
When you are new to a place, you feel strange precisely because you don’t yet have the ability to free yourself from the unfamiliarity to become your own protagonist. It takes a while, before you can generate your own story, before you grasp the prevailing structure of feeling, to use Raymond Williams’ intriguing concept for the many layers and registers that make a place “home.” The chapters of my novel chart this development of arriving-home.
For a while at least, a new urban milieu pulls you into many fragments of stories barely-told; perhaps legendary, secret, inconsequential, perhaps not even worth pursuing. Little by little though, enough space opens up to make the adventure your own, even if in Berlin Cards and Crimes, the protagonist remains firmly attuned to the spatial sensibilities surrounding her (i.e. she remains psychogeographically oriented). These spatial sensibilities are both horizontal—in walking and discovering the city, she covers distances—and vertical—the city’s history as well as her own intersect with the present moment.''
- Angela Flury, professor, writer Artist’s Statement
Find out more about Angela’s work, read an excerpt from her novel Berlin Cards & Crimes, or listen to part 1 of the podcast Flury made with SomoS on our website: www.somos-arts.org
Angela Flury's reading and writers talk will be accompanied by a series of photographs taken by Alessandré Petzer, also a SomoS resident artist in summer 2018, of Charlottenburg while on a walking journey through the neighborhood together with Angela Flury.
Join us as Angela Flury reads from her latest work and discusses the creative writing process:
Date: Thursday, August 9th, 2018, 7 – 9pm
Location: SomoS Kottbusser Damm 95
[About Angela Flury]
Angela Flury is a writer, scholar, speaker and educator interested in the history of the novel, genre fiction, world literature, translation studies, visual studies and cinematic narratives.
She received her Ph.D. in comparative literature (with emphasis on critical theory and gender studies) from the University of California, Davis, USA, and is currently an associate professor in the English department at DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, USA.
Flury’s teaching has explored the relation between literature, women, and fashion; as well as representations of the theme of the “femme fatale” in visual culture, cinema and history.