The New York Times has published a lovely and charming interview with Patti Smith, where she talks about some of her favourite books (and where I discovered she has a signed first edition of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake).

Source: The New York Times

As The Story Was Told (1996), a two-part documentary featuring interviews with authorised biographer James Knowlson, publishers John Calder and Barney Rosset, actress Billie Whitelaw, nephew Edward Beckett, and others. The documentary is notable, in part, for its glimpses of Beckett’s home in Paris and his country retreat in Ussy-sur-Marne.

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“After the ‘Ulysses’ author died, in 1941, Ireland declined to honour him as it had WB Yeats” — The Irish Times

On 2 November 2017, Special Collections at the University of Reading will be hosting a day on ‘Editing Modernist Letters’. Organised by the Beckett at Reading Postgraduate Group (BARP), the day will include talks by academics in the field (Joanne Winning and Nicola Wilson), and two workshops based on the correspondence of James Joyce and Samuel Beckett. To find out more about the event, or to book tickets, visit the BARP website.

British writer shares what motivates him to create fiction, and how he came to write and publish his debut novel, The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas
Daniel James
Daniel James

When did you first decide to become a writer?

I honestly can’t recall a time when I didn’t want to be a writer. It was less of a conscious decision and more of a realisation about my own nature. I think the only real question was what kind of writer I wanted to be. When I was young, I loved books, cinema and comic books equally and I dreamed of writing stories for each of those mediums. I used to draw and paint a lot as a child and the idea of writing and illustrating my own graphic novels always appealed to me. Similarly, the visual storytelling inherent to cinema, as well as using light and sound to bring different worlds and atmospheres to life and create an end to end sensory experience for people to get lost inside, seemed to map to the way my brain worked.

When I’m writing, I’m often visualising the story unfolding and simply describing what I see in words or hearing the characters inner thoughts and dialogue and transcribing it. This was certainly the case in my debut novel. It was almost as if the story already existed somewhere, out there in the darkness, and was being transmitted into my brain. It’s more than just words and images however. It could be an atmosphere that I sense, like a feeling from a waking dream, that I want to recreate and share in a story. (more…)

sam-shepard-patti-smith

“In the winter of 2012, we met up in Dublin, where he received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Trinity College. He was often embarrassed by accolades but embraced this one, coming from the same institution where Samuel Beckett walked and studied. He loved Beckett, and had a few pieces of writing, in Beckett’s own hand, framed in the kitchen, along with pictures of his kids. That day, we saw the typewriter of John Millington Synge and James Joyce’s spectacles, and, in the night, we joined musicians at Sam’s favorite local pub, the Cobblestone, on the other side of the river. As we playfully staggered across the bridge, he recited reams of Beckett off the top of his head”

— Source: My Buddy: Patti Smith Remembers Sam Shepard | The New Yorker

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Séan Richardson on a free new broadcast that sheds light on the cultural legacy of modernism

modernistpodcast-logo.jpgWhat is the Modernist Podcast?

The Modernist Podcast is a platform for ‘green’ academics to share their research with the wider community. We aim to bring critical discussion beyond the bindings of the journal and out from within the walls of the conference, into the airwaves and across digital media. We believe that this is a great way for researchers to have their voices heard early into their career, as well as disseminate their work to a broader audience, making scholarship more accessible to a diverse array of listeners. The podcast itself comes out monthly, and researchers are linked together by theme: from Queer Modernism to Modernism and Form, James Joyce to Modernism and Race. (more…)

james-joyce
James Joyce

At 5pm on Tuesday 30 May 2017, Scarlett Baron will be giving a free lecture on James Joyce at the University of Reading. The lecture will connect to her broader interest in modernist and postmodernist literature in English and French:

“Her 2011 monograph ‘Strandentwining Cable’: Joyce, Flaubert, and Intertextuality reads Joyce within an Anglo-French literary tradition and argues for the importance of his work within the emergence of intertextual theory.

Everyone is most welcome to this event, which takes place 5pm at the Special Collections, University of Reading. The lecture will be accompanied by a glass of wine and is hosted by the Finnegans Wine Reading Group.”

To book a place, or for more information, take a look at the Eventbrite page.