This conference marks the publication of 30 books in the two book series Historicizing Modernism and Modernist Archives with Bloomsbury Academic.
Archival excavation and detailed contextualisation is becoming increasingly central to scholarship on literary modernism. In recent years, the increased – and often online – accessibility and dissemination of previously unpublished or little-known texts has led to paradigm-shifting scholarly interventions across a range of canonical and lesser-known authors, neglected topics, and critical methodologies including genetic criticism, intertextuality, book history, and historical documentation. This trend is only bound to increase as large-scale digitisation of archival materials gathers pace, and existing copyright restrictions gradually lapse.
These two book series have been at the forefront of this burgeoning trend, and this international conference will take stock of these developments. Above all, it will also point forwards, towards future avenues of research. The authors and editorial board members connected with the series will reflect upon the ‘state of the art’ regarding archive-based research within their particular sub-discipline, connecting this to Modernism Studies as a whole. The provisional paper titles listed below reflect their responses to this invitation.
First Love is performed by Marcus Lamb who recently played Bob Cratchit in the feature film The Man who Invented Christmas and Dr. James Oakley in RTÉ’s Fair City. Marcus also enthralled the audience with his performance in The End, last year’s Beckett in Foxrock production.
Beckett in Foxrock 2018 – First Love is the third annual celebration of the Nobel Laureate’s close connection with Foxrock. Samuel Beckett was born and brought up in Brighton Road, just yards from Tullow Church which he attended in the company of his mother. The Foxrock area and many of its residents feature in much of his work.
A press release from Cambridge University Press: Derval Tubridy’s Samuel Beckett and the Language of Subjectivity is the first sustained exploration of aporia as a vital, subversive, and productive figure within Beckett’s writing as it moves between prose and theatre. Informed by key developments in analytic and continental philosophies of language, Tubridy’s fluent analysis demonstrates how Beckett’s translations¬––between languages, genres, bodies, and genders––offer a way out of the impasse outlined in his early aesthetics. The primary modes of the self’s extension into the world are linguistic (speaking, listening) and material (engaging with bodies, spaces and objects).
The Fourth Beckett Society Conference will take place in Mexico City, on 7-10 November 2018. ‘Transdisciplinary Beckett’ is especially interested in recognising the role that radio, television, theatre, music, the arts, sciences, and technologies play in Beckett Studies.
Samuel Beckett is a precursor in the creation of transdisciplinary works. He travelled between languages [English-French-German], genres [narrative, poetry, theatre, essay], and media [radio, television, cinema]. His work has been studied and applied across different perspectives and disciplines, ranging from literature, philosophy, and media, to political sciences, music, and contemporary art practices. Carrying out a transdisciplinary approach allows us to re-conceptualize Beckett as an author who found in different technologies and electronic languages new ways to think about our present time.
“Of all I’ve read in my life, and all that’s yet to come, what’s going to count? How much of it has changed me? How much has even marked me? How much has done both but I don’t know it yet? Readers get to make these discoveries in the privacy of their own heads. Writers must make them in public and then wear them in their back catalogues for as long as they have a readership who cares.”
An assembly are a group dedicated to experimental and contemporary music, installation, and performance.
Their first event of 2018 sees a rare performance of one of Feldman’s final works, ‘Words and Music’, a collaboration with one of the 20th century’s greatest writers, Samuel Beckett. Originally conceived as a radio-play, this 40-minute piece exhibits two of the 20th century’s greatest artists at their creative peak. Haunting fragments of text and sound gently discourse and overlap in an intimate meditation on themes such as love, age, and truth.
J. Kelly Nestruck: “Nasmith’s performance is exquisite – the pathos not overplayed, the humour stinging but still funny. When he holds a peeled banana in his mouth, it is the epitome of the word “absurd.” When he listens intently and then gets lost in memory, you see that boat moving gently, up and down, and from side to side.”
Colette Sheridan: “It is going to be a verbatim performance. But is it very grim? After all, the narrator exists in the mud-dark and ends up in solitude after the other creature disappears. The text has drawn comparisons with Dante’s image of souls gulping mud in the Stygian marsh of the Inferno.”
Here at the Samuel Beckett Society, we’re not sure what to make of Robert Armstrong’s recent piece in the Financial Times about the end of the male style icon. Armstrong is wistful for a simpler time, when male celebrity figures were supposedly emulated and celebrated for their sartorial choices. What do you think? Does Beckett’s dress code influence the way we think about him as a writer and public figure? Or are these things irrelevant to the books and plays that we love?