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Personal experience, turned outwards

September 12, 2011

I have had some work published in Issue 62 of Free Associations. This is a long-established journal that explores psychoanalysis and its relation to culture, now under the new (and peer reviewed) editorship of Dr Caroline Bainbridge and Dr Candida Yates.

The article concerns the relations between facts and feelings in nonfiction writing, and develops the ideas sketched out in the THE last summer. One strand of argument is to show how reporting – finding out about the external world – can be understand as a form of personal experience, which is deliberately turned outward and tested by verification. Another considers the nature of demands for ‘authenticity’. I write:

If a text’s falseness or authenticity is no longer defined solely by its professionalism or stance towards objectivity, it becomes necessary to find a different way of distinguishing between the two […] The possibility should exist of finding an alienated subjectivity not just in professional texts that manipulate the consumer, but also in those created by artisanal producers; and of finding authenticity not only in marginal practices, but also in professional, mainstream ones.

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