Writing The Bridge Myths

Decent Essays

Writing the Bridge: stories and myths
The Bridge is not a historical novel, as all of the events that take place in the novel take place in my living memory but it is a novel indebted to an actual event. I do feel a responsibility to do the research, to understand or at least try and understand what happened. This is especially the case as many of those affected are still alive.
The research for writing about Antonello has included reading through volumes of the Royal Commission report, reading newspaper reports of the collapse and of the commission hearings, articles and stories online on The Westgate Memorial site set up by survivors.

The only book on the collapse, West Gate, written by the journalist Bill Hitchings, is a nonfiction …show more content…

While my novel does not use the self-reflexive devices common to the postmodern texts Hutcheon’s focuses on – there is no narrator stepping out of the novel to address the reader – I am interested in creating a text where many voices and many stories interwine so that no one ‘truth’ can be distinguished.

Challenging historical narratives 1: Love

The men’s love for the Bridge; their pride in being ‘bridge builders’; the sense of betrayal they felt when the bridge collapsed and the fact that many of them felt compelled to return to finish the Bridge is documented in official documents, in newspaper articles and in interviews with survivors and family members of the men who died. It is a potent emotional theme especially for a fiction writer. But it is also one that I am troubled by.

Mavis Harburn whose husband was killed said: ‘He loved that damned bridge (Hitchings 1979:3).’ Bill Hitchings talks about two other victims, Jack Grist and Fred Upsdell ‘the way they went on about “their bridge” to their wives and friends you’d swear they were the only two building it

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