Tag Archives: literature

Blog

New publications

None of us is getting out and about much during a pandemic. And that means public events and conferences just aren’t happening. But publications still are. Here are two recent ones.

The American Weird, edited impeccably by Julius Greve and Florian Zappe, has just come out from Bloomsbury and is now on sale. The opening chapter is ‘A Doxa of the American Weird’, laying out the prehistory of the weird, from Anglo-Saxon usage via Holinshed and Shakespeare to American colonization, and showing how the concept in American literature and culture follows this earlier definition rather than our modern English one, from 17th-century American poetry to current film and fiction.

Virtual Futures: Near-Future Fictions is an anthology of some of the best stories that think about what’s going to happen not in a hundred years, or ten, but tomorrow. It’s also on sale now. A second volume is coming soon.

And earlier this year there was yet another flurry of interest in skeuomorphism, with Quartz magazine producing an excellent illustrated explainer, which you can read here.

Blog

Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’hui

Samuel Beckett: Debts and Legacies

The new volume of Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’hui is now out, available on Amazon; it contains my essay ‘The Metronome of Consciousness’.

Blog

Forthcoming talks, part 2

I’ll be speaking at Who’s afraid of…? Facets of Fear in Anglophone Literature and Media at Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn, which runs on the 24-5 September. The talk is provisionally titled “A Formula of Fear: Hollywood’s Return to Romanticism”.

On the 4-6th November, I’ll be talking about “Skeuomorphology and the Evolution of Literary Quotation”, here at the Universität zu Köln, at the Morphomata Kolleg event provisionally called ‘Creativity of Finding: Figurations of the Quotation’ [no programme yet].

Blog

Forthcoming talks, part 1

A proleptic roundup of some conference talks & guest lectures:

On the 24th of April I’m speaking at Modernism and Utopia: Convergences in the Arts about “The Machinery Underground: Subterranean Space and Modernist Utopias”. This is a 2-day conference on the 23rd and 24th at the University of Birmingham, UK.

On the 11th of June I’m talking with Alex Burghart at l’Université Paris IV-Sorbonne on “Ruins of statues and the dystopian landscape”. This presentation is part of a book we’ve been writing on the apocalyptic imaginary in English and American history; the event is a symposium organized by Prof. Jacques Carré on «Utopie, ville et paysage dans le monde anglophone». It runs on the 11th and the 12th.

On the 17th & 18th of September at Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany, I’ll give a paper at the conference Contemporary British Fiction: Narrating Violence, Trauma and Loss, on “Traumatic Irony: A Model of Unintentional Disclosure”.

Blog

Beckett’s Ping

There’s a new squib out in Notes & Queries about Samuel Beckett’s short prose work Ping, proposing a new reading based on his use of some technical terms. This may be rather late news: apparently it’s been available on advance access since August 15, but I hadn’t noticed.

Blog

Article on Thomas Pynchon in the Sunday Times

The lead article in today’s Sunday Times Culture section is an overview of Pynchon’s novels and reluctant celebrity. Bryan Appleyard, the author of an eloquent and sober study of belief in the existence of aliens – Aliens: Why They Are Here – examines Pynchon’s life, writings, and literary reputation, discussing with me (among others) the likely longevity of Pynchon’s appeal. The article can be found here.