24 October 2014

Dr Anthony Howe (Birmingham City University) - Finding Gloucester’s Eyeballs: Keats’s Letters and their Poetry (Wednesday 5th Nov 2014, 5.30pm, Hallgarth House, Department of English)

This paper will ask what it means to make literary critical, as opposed to biographical or other-paraphrastic, use of Keats's letters. I will discuss the generic extensiveness of Keats's epistolary writing -- its writerly fullness -- and the problems of traditional category in this respect. In particular I will consider the losses incurred when we isolate Keats's poetry from the letters into which, in many cases, they were placed. You may wish to (re-) read the short poems 'On the Sea' and 'The Eve of St Mark' in preparation. 

13 October 2014

Broadcasting Beckett: Adaptations from the BBC Written Archives Centre Prof. Matthew Feldman 15 Oct 2014, 5:30pm, Hallgarth House, Department of English

Broadcasting Beckett: Adaptations from the BBC Written Archives Centre 
Prof. Matthew Feldman 
15 Oct 2014, 5:30pm, Hallgarth House, Department of English (see attachment)

This paper will reconsider Beckett's relationship with the BBC through recourse to neglected files held at the Written Archives Centre in Caversham. Collectively, these materials - covering a range of aspects concerning Beckett's work for the BBC - including contracting, correspondence, negotiation over content and so on - reveal a far greater engagement with radio broadcasting than has been previously acknowledged. During the crucial years between 1957 and 1962, this not only included his five oft-discussed radio plays, but extended adaptations of most of his major works (including the Trilogy, Waiting for Godot with a narrator (!), and other surprises), debates over musical accompaniment and BBC framing and much more, bearing out Donald McWhinnie's prophetic, internal BBC memorandum from 1957: ‘if he is to write at all in the near future it will be for radio, which has captured his imagination’. While an overview of these materials will be offered, consideration of these key five years will be included insofar as they may have contributed to a change in Beckett's poetics toward 'abstract drama' and writing.

For more information, contact inventionsofthetext@gmail.com.