Book of Days

Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis - ECU Access Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Susan Ash


This thesis consists of two parts: a creative project titled 'Book of Days' and a critical essay titled 'Beyond Hejinian'. The 'Book of Days' is an autobiographical poetic novella, inspired by reading Lyn Hejinian's My Life, an autobiography with a difference. This text is "open"; that is, it resists "closure", or a fixed reading. Instead of having a linear narrative, based on chronology, as is common in autobiography, Hejinian created a text that can be read in multiple ways, according to the reader's desire. Events are ordered in a way that is closer to the workings of memory. 'Book of Days' looks to My Life as a source of inspiration, for such devices as repetitions and shifting subject positions. The text is also similar to Hejinian's in that both use mathematical structures on which to 'hang' remembered events. Hejinian uses her age at writing, while I structure my text both by the calendar and my age. 'Book of Days' also differentiates itself from My Life in its experimentation with the page as a form and the literal gaps that are created between lines. A further difference is in the nature of narrated detail: while My Life tends to focus on the ordinary and daily, 'Book of Days' deliberately integrates the traumatic into the weave of daily events. I argue the above points in my essay 'Beyond Hejinian' as well as pay particular attention to the genre known as language poetry.