Nothing as we need it for chimeric writing

CASCELLA, Daniela (2021). Nothing as we need it for chimeric writing. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

Cascella_2022_PhD_NothingAsWe.pdf - Accepted Version
Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (2MB) | Preview
Link to published version::


In this thesis-work a new form of critical writing is imagined, practiced, and studied. Shaped by encounters with literature not translated in English; by the polyphonies, artifices, and concealments of a bilingual self; by the sense of speechlessness and haunting when writing about texts that cannot be instantly quoted, this form is named chimeric from the mythological Chimera: a monstrous creature made of three different parts, impossible in theory but real in the imagination and in the reading of the myth. Similarly, this thesis-work is a composite of interrelated parts written in different styles, some of which may seem impossible, monstrous, disturbing. It holds practice and commentary without demarcation between creative and critical components. It presents chimeric writing as enmeshment and conversation with its subject matters, favouring impurity rather than detachment and embracing exaggeration, repetition, laughter, and self-parody as legitimate forms of knowledge. A chimera is also the object of an unattainable yearning. This thesis-work manifests yearning for the subjects it studies: untranslated prose works by Alejandra Pizarnik, Cristina Campo, and Roberto Calasso. It defies any demand for scholarship to be exhaustive, and writes scholarship exhausted by desire. Rather than writing monographic studies of Calasso, Campo, Pizarnik as a distant critic, a three-voiced character speaks with them, inhabits their words, rehearses forms derived from modes of critical writing proposed by them, and extends their projects. Commenting on their works, she comments on her own. The contribution of this thesis-work lies primarily in its articulation, as it embodies its argument for composite and impure writing in its form; and in thinking and practicing chimeric writing through neologisms such as csiting and transcelating. These declare and formalise new and entangled possibilities for the writing of research and for writing as research which, listening to literature beyond the limits of textual analysis, dismiss the implications of the term reflection, assuming detachment, in favour of an aural method of resonance, allowing enmeshment and interference. Unsettling language, this project welcomes imaginative wordplay as a committed mode of scholarship; presents possibilities for working with citation beyond the boundaries of quotation marks; writes knowledge as chimera, as we need it.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Kivland, Sharon [0000-0003-4583-4677]
Thesis advisor - Mccarthy, Penny [0000-0002-0524-9169]
Thesis advisor - Bell, Alice [0000-0001-9737-4081]
Additional Information: Director of studies: Dr. Sharon Kivland / Supervisors: Penny McCarthy and Dr. Alice Bell. 'No PQ harvesting'
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2022 11:40
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 15:19

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics