Feeling my way: tactility, text and biography in Pick me up


This paper will consider books as material objects from an aesthetic, textural perspective. The case study will be Atlantic Press Books and, in particular, my chapbook Pick me up, produced in collaboration with illustrator Harriet Lee Merrion, (forthcoming, April 2014, Atlantic Press Books). In ‘Agency, biography and objects’, Janet Hoskins suggests that: ‘In certain contexts, people can seem to take on the attributes of things and things can seem to act almost as persons’. She adds that, ‘Within this framework, things can be said to have biographies.’ (Hoskins, p74, 2013) The attribution of literary characteristics to non-literary object-texts is a counterpoint to the erosion of textural textuality in a digital age. Biographies in this sense tell two stories, and discourse analysis is aligned equally with the words on the page and the material culture and alternate aesthetic account. This paper constitutes part of my PhD research. I am studying part time at Stirling University and my PhD is entitled: Writing Culture and Cultural Value: Ethnographies of Contemporary Publishing (1996-2016)

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