Event Title

Of Fact and Fiction: An Exploration of the Tillie Olsen Papers

Location

Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall

Start Date

2-4-2014 3:30 PM

Description

PURPOSE: The material of this presentation derives from a larger project in which I investigated various aspects of the Tillie Olsen Papers. One of the goals of my research was to better understand the nature of Olsen’s writing process and the philosophical commitments that informed her work. SUBJECTS: The Tillie Olsen Papers, Boxes 1, 2, 4, and 16 which include the drafts of Olsen’s most famous text, “Tell Me a Riddle.” METHODS AND MATERIALS: Photocopy reproduction, key word classification, and passage notation. ANALYSES: Due to the nature of the discipline, statistical tests are not applicable. RESULTS: Olsen’s compositional practices frequently included introspective writing in which she used first-person and second-person point-of-view in interesting ways. For Olsen, there existed a dynamic interplay between fact and fiction. So intertwined are they in her papers that it often becomes difficult for a researcher to decipher between them. CONCLUSIONS: Various Olsen critics have noted the biographical nature of Olsen’s characters and how Olsen’s own life strongly informed her writing. The Tillie Olsen Papers stand as further evidence of Olsen’s tendency to allow her life and writing to meld, and they reveal that the practice of synthesizing fact and fiction was integral to the creation of her poignant texts.

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Apr 2nd, 3:30 PM

Of Fact and Fiction: An Exploration of the Tillie Olsen Papers

Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall

PURPOSE: The material of this presentation derives from a larger project in which I investigated various aspects of the Tillie Olsen Papers. One of the goals of my research was to better understand the nature of Olsen’s writing process and the philosophical commitments that informed her work. SUBJECTS: The Tillie Olsen Papers, Boxes 1, 2, 4, and 16 which include the drafts of Olsen’s most famous text, “Tell Me a Riddle.” METHODS AND MATERIALS: Photocopy reproduction, key word classification, and passage notation. ANALYSES: Due to the nature of the discipline, statistical tests are not applicable. RESULTS: Olsen’s compositional practices frequently included introspective writing in which she used first-person and second-person point-of-view in interesting ways. For Olsen, there existed a dynamic interplay between fact and fiction. So intertwined are they in her papers that it often becomes difficult for a researcher to decipher between them. CONCLUSIONS: Various Olsen critics have noted the biographical nature of Olsen’s characters and how Olsen’s own life strongly informed her writing. The Tillie Olsen Papers stand as further evidence of Olsen’s tendency to allow her life and writing to meld, and they reveal that the practice of synthesizing fact and fiction was integral to the creation of her poignant texts.