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Writing (MA)

Aea Varfis-van Warmelo

I am a British-Greek writer based in London. I am interested in the performativity of form and tend to write about the apocalypse, deceit and other good things.

My work has appeared in The White Review, The National Poetry Library, Tolka, The Rialto, and others. I was shortlisted for The White Review's Poet's Prize and was an inaugural member of The Southbank Centre's New Poets' Collective.

My website includes a full publication history and is replete with links and a contact form that I check regularly, should you be feeling solicitous.

It's true, I promise, I promise, it all happened.

a screenshot of one page from my Final Major Project. an accessible pdf is linked below.
screenshot of the second page of my FMP. an accessible pdf is linked below.
a succession of images featuring to people wrapped in a translucent plastic. they are serene, either sleeping or dead.
screenshot of two pages from my Final Major Project. an accessible pdf is linked below.
a screenshot of one page from my Final Major Project. an accessible pdf is linked below.
a screenshot of one page from my Final Major Project. an accessible pdf is linked below.

Mynthomaniac is a work-in-progress text about being a pathological liar. It leans on the conventions of memoir, auto-theory and poetry. 

Writing through a recounting of my favourite failed relationship, Mynthomaniac explores the role that lying plays in the invention of self, modern forms of interrogation, lie-detection in a criminal context, language philosophy, psychoanalysis, joking as a form of insincerity and, specifically, guilt. The excerpts displayed here are exclusively from the memoir sections of the text and concern my ex-boyfriend, who is referred to by his least-favourite nickname, Normal Ben, for the purposes of spiteful anonymity. 

Jonathan P. Watts once described my work as having "a paranoiac quality, as though I were reading an evangelist giving an hermeneutical interpretation" and it is the greatest compliment I have ever received. I have endeavoured to maintain this spirit in Mynthomaniac.

The images accompanying the text were made in collaboration with Thomasin Lawson, who is as talented as they are kind.

page 1 of pdf belo
page 2 of pdf below
page 3 of pdf below
page 4 of pdf below
page 5 of pdf below
and, finally, page 6 of the pdf below

You will note some obvious links between this piece and Mynthomaniac. I am not inclined to diagnose the origin of my devotion to lying and manipulation, but I will say I am curious about the ebb and flow of a reader’s attention, and how the confessional is such an easy currency for purchasing it. What happens to the writer who is not willing to divulge so much of herself? I have been writing in some public capacity since I was 20 years old. I have given a lot of myself already, and a lot I regret revealing. 

So, the question: how can I win at your game and mine at the same time? I simply can't, so I surrender: it's true, I promise, I promise, it all happened.

This essay was initially written for the RCA and is now happily homed in Issue Three of Tolka, an extract of which is pictured above.

screenshot of pages 1 and 2 of pdf attached below
screenshot of pages 3 and 4 of pdf attached below

These are three essays: one on Gena Rowlands in Woman Under the Influence, one on my previous life as an actor, and one on inherited gesture.

For no reason at all, this project took me many months to write, and at some stage in its painful construction I had a back and forth with Jeremy Millar where I felt obliged to defend my intentions in writing this piece. I said: "Thank you for your detailed response, I've been chewing on it. My aim with the essay is to outline the ripples of Rowland's performance, and to illustrate through that analysis the cycle of 'natural' human expression being imitated by performers, then acquired and integrated into daily life, then regurgitated again by the visual arts/other performers. A sort of mise-en-abîme of gesture. Partially central to that line of inquiry is the sort of paranoiac tendency to see what we want to see, which is why (what you've seen of) the essay seems to focus so much on the present and my own experiences. I suppose I am also slightly challenging the idea of how we measure something's cultural significance -- in the process of reading the essay it should be evident that the world does in fact revolve entirely around Gena Rowlands in Woman Under the Influence, but that doesn't necessarily have to be true once the reader departs from the essay."

His reply was helpful, and the piece was written.