'In October 1997 a clever young law student at ANU made a bizarre plan to murder her devoted boyfriend after a dinner party at their house. Some of the dinner guests - most of them university students - had heard rumours of the plan. Nobody warned Joe Cinque. He died one Sunday, in his own bed, of a massive dose of rohypnol and heroin. His girlfriend and her best friend were charged with murder. Helen Garner followed the trials in the ACT Supreme Court. Compassionate but unflinching, this is a book about how and why Joe Cinque died. It probes the gap between ethics and the law; examines the helplessness of the courts in the face of what we think of as 'evil'; and explores conscience, culpability, and the battered ideal of duty of care.' (Source: Pan Macmillan website)
Garner takes 'a deliberately subjective and "literary" approach' to her material with an 'emphasis on a sympatheitic authorial persona as the source of the reader's perspective' (Susan Lever 'The Crimes of the Past: Anna Funder's Stasiland and Helen Garner's Joe Cinque's Consolation'. Paper delivered at the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL) conference 2006).
Ongoingness: The End of a Diary, Manguso
The Complete Maus, Spiegelman
The topic will review the history and genres of life writing - from 'lives', confessions, poetry, letters and diaries, through to biography, autobiography, memoir, essays, testimony, art work, photography, websites and social networking.
The themes we will cover include: truth, subjectivity, self, identity, privacy/disclosure, memory, trauma, and the ethical, moral and legal issues surrounding the representation of the self and others in life writing modes. We will explore ways of researching and resourcing life writing projects. Students will explore both the theories and practice of life writing genres, and will be give the option of critical and/or creative life writing pieces for their assessment.
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