Since I last posted, I have finished the Gertrude Stein essay I wrote about some posts previously and completed a portfolio of experimental poems exploring some of Stein’s themes (language, seeing, femininity etc). Both essay and portfolio were part of my end of year coursework submission. I am delighted to say that, despite some rocky moments when I thought I had bitten off more than I could chew, I passed the first year (phew!) and am about to launch into my second year on the Oxford Mst in Creative Writing.
So why the corset? No, it’s not because the course is a constraint or ties me down – in fact, I find its structure and expectations a valuable support in the face of a very demanding (although rewarding) day job. I have just returned from a visit to the costume gallery at the Victoria and Albert museum where I have been studying edwardian undergarments. My main project for year two is to write a novel and I have chosen to work on a historical novel set at the turn of the twentieth century. It is impossible, I think, to understand how characters move, breathe and think without knowing about their underwear…..