// you’re reading...



Well, that cheered me up no end. Gene Hunt, that is, not the interest rate cut (I am officially getting old, by the way – not only am I noting interest rate cuts in a ‘what will what do to mortgage rate manner, and blogging about it, but I also switched my radio alarm to Radio 4 yesterday. There’s no turning back now), although the interest rate cut was cheering in a vaguely hopeful sort of way.

I’m in the office (it’s Friday, so I really ought to be at home, but it’s External Examiner week, so no peace for the wicked. Or module leaders), and typing this in a desperate attempt to seem to be doing some work before nine. Which is a complete misnomer, as there are no students here (it’s the inter-semester break), I’m not supposed to be here anyway (see above) and the only things I’ve urgently got to do is mark 1st year essays, which I’ve put next Thursday morning aside for.

Solid advice from the redoubtable Iain Banks for writers here.

What preparation do you do?
As little research as I can get away with.

What advice would you give to new writers?
The Three Ps: practice, practice, practice. Writing is like everything else: the more you do it the better you get. Don’t try to perfect as you go along, just get to the end of the damn thing. Accept imperfections. Get it finished and then you can go back. If you try to polish every sentence there’s a chance you’ll never get past the first chapter.”


I have pretensions to be a composer, and hope to be as successful a composer as Anthony Burgess, if not less so.

Well said Iain. Although the thought of a (it’s just occurred to me that Iain was by far the first Banksy. Not that hyped up graffiti artist) Banks musical is intriguing, to say the least. And I have a nagging feeling that I knew he was working on that.

Anyway, just for the Dissertation Donkey, here’s something I wrote yesterday:

Would you concur that in order to establish a coherent strategy for designing curricula to teach New Media, in a climate of continual technological and cultural change, that one might make use of Bakhtin’s concept of multivocality, “a whole formed by the interaction of several consciousnesses”, as the only viable model by which to move forward, into which it is then necessary to identify the tone, timbre and origin of those voices, rather than persisting in the search for a unifying and overarching teaching ethos?

Yes, yes I would. Especially if it was 1981.


5 comments for “Prevaricating”

  1. Mmm. Donkey like. Donkey not understand, but Donkey like.

    Posted by The Dissertation Donkey | February 8, 2008, 11:10 am
  2. “… to identify the tone, timbre and origin of those voices”

    One thing I forgot to mention: A feature of Bakhtin’s idea is that sometimes the *perceived* origin of the voice is more important than it’s actual origin.

    Bakhtin identifies the origin of multivocality in parody and an important component of the parody is that everyone has to recognised what it is being parodied even if it bears little actual resemblance. The classic example being parodies of upper-class speech.

    Most people in the UK rarely meet or see an actual blue-blooded upper class twit and those that they do see don’t in any way talk like they’re made out to do in parodies such as on the Now Show. But the reference is recognisable and distinct, which makes it a voice in the Bakhtinian context.

    So, to bring this back to multimedia. Video, audio and writing in multimedia don’t have to have identical characteristics to the media they represent for them to be, in the eyes of the interactor, those media transplanted wholesale into a multivocal multimedia context.

    Does that make sense or am I just suffering from Friday syndrome?

    Posted by Baldur | February 8, 2008, 11:42 am
  3. Nope. Donkey still not understand.

    Posted by The Dissertation Donkey | February 8, 2008, 5:53 pm
  4. Donkey dude,

    It goes something like this:

    // Observation on recent TV show / media event / news story.

    // Relate said item to mind bendingly complex theory of some sort meant only to appeal to those buried in the world of academia.

    //Some quotes

    //End with a pithy one liner intended (probably) to ground the whole thing in some kind of reality, with varying success.

    Apply that template and these things become easier to follow, if not understand.

    Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

    Posted by mongo | February 8, 2008, 7:29 pm
  5. “// Relate said item to mind bendingly complex theory of some sort meant only to appeal to those buried in the world of academia.”

    Oh noes, I’ve been made!

    Posted by Baldur Bjarnason | February 10, 2008, 12:21 am

Post a comment