This is less an academic paper than a free-wheeling reflection on my recent practice of creating heteronyms in poetry. In it I discuss issues of identity not in a psychological sense but as the voice of a lyric self/persona/mask through which poets ‘sign’ their poetic insights to readers. These voicing devices are manipulated by the poet, consciously and unconsciously, and by language more comprehensively, to reveal (but also obscure) aspects of the poet’s ‘self’. They are often read as genuine and ‘true’, when they are clearly constructions. A poet may well hide behind such agency. With this much ambiguity in linguistic presence, poetic voice is a teasing and distinctive pathway of knowing, both in the writing process/discovery of poems by the poet and in the interpretive reading of those works by an audience. My own work—and thus my discussion—explores the shifts and ambiguities that take place through the license I receive when writing through heteronyms which reveal (or seem to reveal) personalities and values distinctly different from my own.
Keywords: heteronym – persona – defamiliarisation – disfluency – Keeper – agency – strategy
I am offering the following personal observations on reading and writing poetry in order to make the ideas of heteronymic writing more transparent in terms of knowing. I am therefore drawing upon the works of poets Alan Fish and M A Carter, my heteronyms. My discussion works on the basis of language as constitutive of persona.
1. Poetry is a more highly structured and semantically concentrated mode than normal speech. Its distinct rhetorical and ordering devices alter us as we react consciously and unconsciously to the poem’s language, its images, its play and humour; we access and note the poem’s information, and its references. We feel its emotional weather; we flicker through its semiotic, and absorb its tonal registers. This is a lot to process and even with several re-readings it can present a challenge because poetry is unusually polysemic, and multiple. One of the modes that makes such language accessible is our sense of a consciousness in the illusion of voice, a speaking within the sound, with its controlling sensibility, its guiding tone, and we are often significantly engaged by the poetry before we know or before, as Eliot said, we ‘understand’ the overall poem.
2. Poetry is focus—its brevity, its compression—but has diffuse effects. While clearly somatic, poetic rhythm will settle us and also re-set us mentally quite as much as physically, with its breathing order of beats and sounds, with its thinking and observing in syntactic structures, by its assonance and dissonance. The use of generic forms also imprints structure into the inventing and thinking of the poet—and therefore the reader. Cross-associative language can introduce within the more accessible literal language thoughts and figures of speech that are un-predictable. And exciting. Meanings keep shifting. Because poetry often lives in multiples it can be refreshingly satisfying at times by seeming not to make sense. To be in some way dis-ordered. Even the most staid poets know that poetry is never mere rationality. And poetry is often a relentless condition of questioning. Few answers follow, many less than raised. This thinking-through but lack of literal resolution—in the form of answers—is poetry’s non-rational residing place. The uncanny. In many ways poetry thinks us.
3. Inevitably, a poem’s linguistic nature can increase (in density) to a point of resistance (different for all of us). Poems which eschew the voice we commonly read as ‘speaking’ can act on us linguistically without providing either representational clarity or emotional reassurance. Poetry as something quite different from self-expression. Even a deliberately difficult poetry generates in us the will to find meanings and often these meanings emerge from the cracks or constraints in style—from a single poem, or from several poems, from a book of poems, from the paradigm of like styles, and from a poetry movement, even. We have a compulsion to make sense of things, to know. Poetry can get away with this (partially) because we read poetry knowing it is the least representational, the least mimetic—of landscape or literal action—of the literary forms. Many readers find difficulty with poetry lacking the I, firstly in decoding the material but, more profoundly, in responding personally to the language. The speech form of voice seems to be a crucial default setting for our reading of meaning, behind it the assumption of a speaker and then a persona; in making meanings we make the familiar, and vice versa. The desire/default works in us a bit like face-recognition. It analyses data, makes its own reality for us, lodges its own presence (its linguistic patterns) and does so not only for knowing but as an ontological experience.
4. For most poets and certainly for most readers, the lyric I represents that ontological agency. The use of the personal pronoun and its placement as subject within the text implies linguistic utterance as a presence, the stand-in for the actual poet. For many readers this is the poet. This reading assumption or phenomenon frequently goes unquestioned. One ‘speaker’ (who isn’t actually there) to one listener (who isn’t known to the speaker) is uniquely intimate, is language close-up (the lyric poem as something ‘overheard’). It gives to the reader/listener very small grabs that sometimes have long reaches. That I can be mercurial in nature and brilliant. Or punchy and pithy and highly charged with wit and observation. Its speaking may be contradictory: tough shifting into tender. It is very often close-in and quiet. It may blend myth and the quotidian in ways that defy immediate sense but activate a more archetypal rhizome within us. Some poems bring one into contemplation with language as an extreme and artificial mode of speech but, inhabited by the subject, the poems read with authority. Language amazes us. It sits in us intimately, like another memory. Literary language can seem to simulate a memory state in making us see and feel what we have not remembered, quite, and may never have seen, or may never see with our world-real eyes. Or am I being poetic?
5. Let me turn to the actual poet. Many poets write with a lyric self-signing—thus overtly identifiable as ‘the poet’—which may potentially increase this feel of intimacy. The speaker/the listener ... At its worst the lyric poem is a selfie. Some poets achieve a style that is deliberately beautiful, even rhapsodic; in contrast, others resist this. When I write poetry I do not self-sign, or only sometimes, in individual poems; I am more often not to be found in my collections, or hold a speculative presence, not an autobiographical one. In some of my earlier collections I felt a distancing method was the best way to explore my schema—rather than my self—and in one of my early books, Sky poems, I chose a conceptual surrealism to create a desire-driven imagined world (writing as if to represent, except there was no such world to represent) ... Once I entered the style, the poems arrived quite quickly. I’m not implying that poems are pre-existing, that a style such as surrealism is even a vehicle, but it is a making state of mind—it is a mode—of finding. It defamiliarises this world by making in us another world, which must, all the same, refer back to this world. And—having a style writes you.
In the same way that language thinks us as readers, it thinks us as writers. Language is constitutive of persona. As a poet I am continually constructing myself—or should I say my poetic persona—from the language of my poems. Readers make assumptions about this persona according to their own depth of awareness about language and its tricks and truths. Whether or not I claim this persona as true to ‘me’, my worldly and private selves, whether or not I’m even in any position to ‘know’ this, is quite a different matter and not something I intend to discuss. Writing a heteronym is a deliberate and conscious attempt to invent an alternative persona, one which must carry within it traces of myself but where salient features (of language) are exaggerated and played with to suit my own dramatic and satiric purpose. Acts of expression are acts of invention. And heteronymic writing is working both expression (the assumed self) and invention (well, a very different made-up self) in parallel. And to a much more extreme degree.
6. But what is a heteronym? ... Why is it different from a pseudonym, or even a non de plume? This latter is required for the Public Lending Agency author details, if you have a non de plume, or are one. Because these first two nomenclatures refer to the practice adopted by writers who wish to keep their private name off the work, a separation, then, by writers whose imprimatur is, nevertheless, all over the writing. It is them, by another name. Another sleight of hand. A heteronym is not the actual writer, it is a different personality, a different psychology. (Curiously, if it is not different enough, readers may be inclined to scoff, judging it merely a non de plume.) This is an act, of course, but a dramatic act. For me, writing through heteronyms is a surprising and different mode or enactment of finding; and (I have come to realise) each heteronymic identity extracts from me a different knowing. All the expected traces and tendencies of emotional, imaginative and visceral language that work on me when I write as myself, as Philip Salom, are the writing proceeding as it has learnt to be, feeding my ghost (as I like to think of it). But other thoughts, different associations and unlike temperaments are found in any differently-finding language. So when I got around to answering the Lending Rights question I added Alan Fish and M A Carter, wrongly, regardless.
In my 2010 book Keepers, I wrote poems that do not invest in autobiography or ask for any response to a lyric representation of self. The setting is a Creative Arts School. The poems stand alone. Keepers could be called a hybrid verse novel except I can’t abide the term. But there is a character who speaks below the page of every poem in Keepers, the Alan Fish character, who performs a kind of prose monologue that develops into a sardonic, critical voice and a carrier of hopes and jokes as the book develops. Fish’s commentary on the poems and characters and situations within those poems, makes those poems more stand-alone than usual. He treats their world as real. His voice is the only consistent presence in the book, so he objectifies the poems more than if he wasn’t there and seemingly—by sleight of hand—removes them from the author, i.e. from me. Therefore it is Fish offering the intimacy within the text: his fictional one over my authorial one. He exists with his own authority. The reader of Keepers isn’t to know that Alan Fish is that weird thing, a closet poet. Nor did I at first. Fish spoke as the repressed, the basement voice, the under-voice, and when the book finished he was made redundant. By the Art School and by the real author, me. But his heart continued to beat. His lyric privacy asserted itself in a book-length series of poems. He only became fully himself with my publication of him as heteronym, in his own collection called The keeper of fish.
7. A heteronym cannot remain as mere personality, as a set of attitudes; he must have his own poetic language. As represented by his language, Fish lives in modes emotional, physical, melancholic, and compassionate. I wanted to write this low-defences character. If he is stoic then he is also a loner who admits and describes personal loss. His language is the embodiment of this loss, and embodiment is very much his way of being.
When my lover came back
When she left she took away her beauty and her hair.
Lived for years with another man. When cancer took
her hair, and took away her breast, the man she left
to live with left. These changes were undoing them.
When she came back to me her hair turned dark.
Unseen happiness grew out through both of us.
She asked me then: when the final moment came
would I bleach her hair and comb her into blonde
for her end, for the hours, and to be looked upon
after the light had left her. I gave my answer.
She wanted to claim it back from her death-in-life
unsuccessful chemistry. I was more than careful.
Sacs of chemo, tubes of bleach, too much can snap
the hair. I was scared enough to brush bleach on
and not risk foils, not risk the smallest break slip
unnoticed past me, as it had before. My fingers
whitened in the bleach but the pain was nothing
I wouldn’t take ten times of to defeat her death.
Oh Death, you and I plucked hookfuls of her hair
through the mad-cap. Love and work. Oh Death,
here is thy sting. She came back home. She asked
for peroxide. But it was my tears that I gave her.
Illness, loss, death, his being bereft, his vulnerability to (and from) living in the past. His imagery of physicality and emotion, of being and stillness, is increased by his references to playing the Japanese board game of Go. Go is the accumulation of territory by the modest strategies of laying small stones on a board or, in Fish’s case, words in the poems, to progressively assemble a position. Until the game ends. Beside this is his Zen-like openness to daily event, even non-event, balanced with a sardonic, no-fool humour. His art and fish life is insistent but inevitably minor. He sits, as a creation, in opposition to the lyric hero, or I as a Narcissist, and his self-reflexive claiming within the poems as the poet of them/himself is kept ironic. He is a lover but he is also a loser.
Nothing, he said. He had nothing against dissociation
except its wanting to be the boss. Even while eating,
with all that knife and fork busyness above the plate …
he would realise minutes later he was catatonic,
wrists lifted, implements like docking arms raised,
his mind far off. Somewhere. But when he saw it
he couldn’t tell just where, or why. Lost. It was
the dumbest kind of sleepwalking, done in daylight,
bringing back into the mind-hold absolutely nothing.
Except the old weight and the old effort of returning.
Yes, he said, there was always that. Not a lot else.
Not even the exercise of walking out and back.
But his being The Keeper of Fish. There was that.
The airy cyclotron of thoughts impossibly arriving.
8. M A Carter was never planned, and wasn’t expected, and arrived later than Fish. Fish, as stated, arose from Keepers. I suspect Carter grew from the other-side of the compassionate Fish—Carter as the harder, less sensible, much less controllable character. Again, I wanted to create a full lyric persona, but instead of embodying lover and longing, Carter articulates critic and misanthropy. He is a talker with attitude. Again, he is anti-heroic, even laughable. And not a seducer of readers. I slowly worked my way towards him, gaining attitudes and ways of phrasing and his characteristic mordancy; once found, he made me hear him clearly. Ordered language has all the potential for personality, consciousness, and vice versa, and adopting a difference like this works in loops and becomes self-fulfilling. This strategy allows, it proffers licence—to be other ... It is a kind of love. It can be deviant. Carter is not as melancholic and related to the world as Fish; he is related to the template of Fish as a heteronym (positively) and as a feeling poet (negatively). Carter is more twistedly witty and eccentric—and more pitiless—than Fish. He is very playful and semi-serious, risking-silly, outrageous in his figurative thinking: he is very, very mannered. So if the neurolinguistics research by people such as Lera Boroditsky and others is right—that particular languages and forms of usage do influence how we think and feel—then so too personalities which differ distinctly from our own apparent agency.
Once found, Carter was written in two months. Sky poems, my book The well mouth, The keeper of fish and Keeping Carter, all distanced worlds in a way, had also accelerated into form. So, unexpectedness and speed of composition need to be acknowledged as aspects of this knowing, the possibility of strange poems arriving more suddenly than can be thought. Like a pianist playing fast, or a martial artist, except ... those are exemplars of trained repetition of the autonomic nervous system, flying not making. Whereas the poetry at flat chat is like jazz improvisation. It rushes to fill the paradigm and the space it/they, those poems alone, can exist in. It is like a small, crazy country, with deeply established customs and culture intact. To write like this, in such a country, is to be constantly surprised.
Here is something from Carter being mannered, and difficult to a salesman, from ‘The Power Be With You’:
This is a country of silent faces. This is a country
of halfway hopeless English. And this country
does surreal not in images but in accents.
The man there told me he wasn’t a salesman,
he wasn’t selling anything, I think that’s what
he said when I said I wasn’t going to listen
to any salesman selling anything. His accent
wasn’t Indian. As I asked where he came from
he answered in words I think were an answer
that he wasn’t allowed to answer the question.
Or this excerpt from ‘Carter Considers Beckett in a Bar’ of Carter being odd if not funny:
Funny, I don’t want to be funny. I want to
see what happens when the alcohol runs out
of metaphor, a few unhappy figures at the bar
laugh at themselves. They can? They’re very thin.
That’s done. Then imagination comes, the light
goes on and off in words, then (she comes in)
words pulled over her head like a red dress
to sit at the bar beside me (in the darkness).
She is a hole surrounded by voluptuous
body and I am her little penis full of bluff.
9. I might well claim that the public I of me cannot write M A Carter poems, seriously cannot, because I cannot hear and think in his mode unless performing him, i.e. the poet that is notionally Salom is not Carter; to write more of his poems I must role-play, perform. I must method-act Carter’s personality for days, before finding that voice again, and the words of his mental patterns as ‘spoken’, and thus re-create the funny but sometimes cruel poet and the mocking aggro-alertness and intolerance that is in the poems. It is not merely style, it is to know what he knows. To be what he knows. This is his otherness. This is his linguistic personality.
Rather than Fish’s stoicism, Carter is identified by his utter acceptance of almost nothing, the big exception being his love for the music of Bach. Such music is characterised by order and consistent variation and development, things Carter seems the very opposite of: he is chaotic, inconsistent, feral and aligned to anti-order as he perceives it. He is a trickster of sorts, a poet who taunts and stirs. This is especially obvious in his slapping of the status quo, specifically street and fashion status quo. Perhaps his admiration for the purest heights of high art is his arch-conservative side. And his flamboyance is that of a snob. And yet ... music is also everywhere in his speech form: harmonic, keeping in key, repetitive, in his eccentric rhythmic structures and syntax. Music is his ironic counterpoint to the ridicule his actual words convey.
Whereas Fish is emotionally serious and constructed through concrete metaphors of emotion and the body, Carter is far more ‘attitude’ and his language is the abstract diction of opinions and judgments and his description, when more concrete, are likely to be so in service to outrageousness and are metaphoric only to be mocking.
All in the Head
The pretty-boy says something very ugly
to the girl walking past with her big friends.
Big for once not euphemistic for obesity
but the adjective for very muscular men.
They stop and shake their adjective at him,
so his mate, who is the quiet one in this story,
moves to quieten them. The bigs are not, they
crack his head until he’s very quiet. It is quiet
in the land of the dead. He hadn’t even time
to buy a ticket for it. He didn’t notice the man
at the ticket booth, or the hand reaching out,
of the ticket collector, or the first row of seats.
Outside in the light the pretty boy, the girl,
who walks with the bigs, and the now silent bigs
have changed the world for good. Every one
will feel bad, and alone, especially the ticket
seller and ticket collector, who were, as always
ignored at the crucial moment of the drama.
They stand like very bad actors, an ensemble,
or this tableau of torn-up hearts, minus one.
Which is its own kind of cruelty. And here Carter is being satirically aware of weaknesses. From ‘That Critic We Know’:
He was too short to think much of poetry.
Short people can write poetry: Keats was tiny,
Pope was bent over muchly, Byron limped
on a club-foot. The Twentieth Century went
taller, superior, like a Mother Superior Eliot,
Cal the Catholic Bi-polar Lowell, Berryman
God-fearing and likely to vomit, who to quote:
in a Uni corridor defecated uncontrollably.
How sad and terrible that adverb is, thank
God not to be there. He was caught short.
Or in ‘I Really Care’ Carter says he does care about the environment, if not the clip-board people in the street who stop him to ask:
I hate them, like I hate vain little shits in tit-clenching T-shirts
of embarrassing self-love. But mostly I hate bloody vegans.
10. If Carter is, as I stated, more twistedly difficult and eccentric—and more pitiless—than Fish then he is also, in writing terms, more so than me. I find him likeably extreme. So when his other-ness is due to speaking the inappropriate (hardly a taboo, quite, but flirting with it) or from some urge to be offensive, and intolerant, then licence is significant. Carter is that different. And he knows it, which is the sub-text of his poems, of course, a staging, his of himself (by me). It’s not at all a matter of the sound and shape of ‘voice’—though this is central to the finding mischief I went through as a writer—it is the entire temperament. I can feel him viscerally. As psychological sensation. I perceive him as qualia particular to Carter.
11. The neurologist Oliver Sacks made an observation of Robert De Niro after De Niro had acted as one of the patients brought back to consciousness by L-Dopa in the film Awakenings. Sacks, who wrote the book the film was based on, said:
I think in an uncanny way, De Niro did somehow feel his way into being Parkinsonian. So much so that sometimes when we were having dinner afterwards I would see his foot curl or he would be leaning to one side, as if he couldn’t seem to get out of it. I think it was uncanny the way things were incorporated.
Di Niro is a method actor as it happens. As a ‘method poet’ playing a heteronym of difference, what really matters and what provides such a buzz—is the release into poems of this difference. It is not merely catharsis, it is discovery. At times, then, such a poet as Carter has a knowing which is allowably, deliberately intolerant or closed—it is a wilful mis-thinking, and a mis-feeling that makes the poetry what it is. It activates ironies, which are themselves knowing contra/dictions, and it willingly provokes both an agreed reading and alternative readings of itself; its satire is premised on this. It allows ambiguities not only of the text but of the source, the two poets. Being in two places at once.
But maybe not as Carter means it:
You feel your heart in two places. And notice
in the other world your heart is blank and still,
kissing does nothing to its blank-rate, pressure
can’t change it. You find you can see in the dark.
12. Defamiliarisation is a powerful device in writing, and in poetic language especially. The heteronym then, acts as a defamiliarisation within the poet. The heteronym also acts a satiric device to make ironies from within and through a mode (the personal / cum autobiographical lyric) which I have too often found fraught with mis-understandings, and too often used by poets for self-indulgence, posing, self-signing and charisma-seeking. Writing Fish is perhaps the most familiar of my heteronymic strategies—and to the general reader the more liked (he has sold more books!)—but to me (and some who know me) his persona remains the least like-me of the two, and maybe, despite his apparent honesty and openness, he may not last; paradoxically, Carter, for all his in-your-face attitude and weird bumption, is on that balance the more original and more substantial creation/ventriloquism. Writing both of them has been cathartic.
13. Reinforcing or explaining this power to shock us into a new knowing is much more recent neurocognitive concept known as Disfluency. This term has been demonstrated by Adam Alter. Simply put, disfluency is the idea that many of our perceptions are made, and also judged, along a spectrum: at one end (or pole) we perceive the familiar, the expected, the fluent, the easy, the predictable, the known; and at the opposite pole, we experience the reverse—the unfamiliar, the unexpected, the difficult, the unpredictable, the unknown ... When we encounter fluency (or pole 1) we are at ease and are happy, we assume things just so, we rate situations and the people higher, better, more trustworthy, etc. And pay them more. Whereas at disfluency (or pole 2) we are unsettled, surprised, made suspicious, we rate situations and the people within them lower, lesser, other, etc.
But I would like to suggest that writing which throws us into shocks and jolts and new juxtapositions will always risk creating the second effect—disfluency—disconcerting the reader, and disconcerting the poet, too, prompting us to judge it negatively. But if poetry makes sudden, new and appropriate links or associations, it may just startle us into both states at once, shock and a growing acceptance ... as it slowly resolves into a strong positive experience, which is its own kind of thrill. The thrill of being altered. Writing these heteronyms introduced me to that phenomenon.
14. Defamiliarisation and its side-kick disfluency describe a double sense of perception, a simultaneous being in the literal and (also) in the figurative. Poems are signified through language-play, figure, and, God knows, string theory ... poems might play in stylistic impurity, collage, chiasmus, in contra/dictions, poetry incorporating randomness, deferral, associative un-likeliness, whimsical what-if, disorders of unity, syntax, diction, ‘self’ etc. and these may create substantial disfluency. Such a poetic is a disfluency that demonstrates a critique of order. With such activated parallels, and doubles, the mind can enjoy this being in two places at once. Writing the heteronym is yet another doubling, a doubling of doubling. Quite literally being in two places at once. It is also risky: you are judged by what you write and these two heteronyms present very different, and to readers of my other work, defamiliarising aspects of my known poetic and persona.
15. How do I feel about writing these two poets? I wanted to write against the lyric through the lyric. Against sentimental, lovey, nice, lyrical poetry. Against the often-perceived naivety of the lyric I as an unquestioned voice of the poet, as biographical and ‘honest’. While I know how much of my experience and my imaginative empathy has gone into them, these two invented poets of mine draw very heavily on outright invention. Readers cannot avoid this and cannot read without this double awareness. What went into the writing in that doubling sense, is coded into the reading. There are confessional aspects or traces of me that I might own up to, just as much as the observations I have made of other people and other personae found in lyric poetry and novels. I would not show as much sadness and vulnerability as Fish, and his subservience rather rudely condemns me for my degree of pride. His expressions and admissions are far more emotional, more revealing of weakness and a pathos which edges close to sentimentality. His stillness and his humour I am much more comfortable with. In a way, Fish is more fictional than Carter; Fish is more story, and Carter is more attitude. This is a deliberate challenge. The abrasive but attractive energy of Carter’s misanthropic humour appeals to me, though it has not appeared often in my own work. Carter operates as mask for this poet to try out less personally and less generally accepted modes of speaking. Carter pushes against good taste and social conformity. His inventive and musical line-braiding is one thing, his reductionist personality and narrow-mindedness quite another. When it comes to face-recognition it may well be that readers do not like what they see! So be it.
It was great fun and a chance to create some of my most sustained satire. Even the emotional melodrama of Fish—and the melodrama of exasperation in Carter—was new for me and found new responses in my writing. Technically, there are new rhythms, more playful use of harmonics and jokes, new twists and contortions of syntax and, perhaps overall, I found a greater ability to write and control the directness of abstract phrasing, sometimes for an entire poem. I think it has been worth it
16. To conclude: for all my disinterest in writing my-self through a lyric state, I am interested in my states but ‘slant’—when licensed to speak as other than my literal name, so my heteronyms, Eeyore Fish and Foot-curling Carter, can be called my de-familiars and my doubles and possibly my disfluencies. Maybe they are at the one time—my confessions AND my alibis. Of course, they are displacements and disguises of a psychological nature (how could they not be?) but much exaggerated. I have believed for a long time that a lot of poetry is prompted by grief, by losses and lacks and the awareness of our lives being short, often unrewarding (in being riven by mis-chance) and of course in being mortal. Fish speaks directly to these concerns and lives in a way that is mindful of them—he is interested in himself and his state not out of Narcissistic indulgence but out of emotional inquiry; Carter is simply not interested in his ‘self’ in this way, he is interested in his ragged opinions! Yet even Carter’s irreverence and mordancy are signs of an undeniable existential seriousness and sense of loss. A fuller deconstruction of the Carter discourse would probably reveal considerable distress. Fish and Carter are lyric poets. They are open and or disguised within their own modes but obviously they are audible as my stand-ins (and disguise) for the ways and words I have found easier to place in ‘their’ forms than my own. In doing so they have described lives and histories and people around them to speak of it. Except they are fictions, they are bogus.
17. Knowing through poetry is why I am a poet.
Alter, Adam 2013 Disfluency, ‘A Conversation with Adam Alter’
http://edge.org/conversation/disfluency (accessed 20 March 2013)
Boroditsky, Lera 2009 ‘How Does Language Shape the Way We Think?’
http://edge.org/conversation/how-does-our-language-shape-the-way-we-think (accessed 5 November 2012)
Fish, Alan 2011 The keeper of fish, Puncher & Wattmann, Sydney
Carter, M A 2012 Keeping Carter, Puncher & Wattmann, Sydney
Kierkegaard, Soren 1996 Kierkegaard’s journals and notebooks, trans. A Hannay, Penguin, London, New York
Sacks, Oliver in ‘The last curious man’, Dwight Garner, 1996
http://www.salon.com/1996/12/23/sacks961223/ (accessed 2 May 2013)