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Inventing the Modern Novel

Prize launch with Ali Smith and Vesna Goldsworthy.

Acclaimed novelists Ali Smith and Vesna Goldsworthy will explore the influence of modernist literature on their own work and interrogate what it might mean to be influenced by modernism.  Is modernism more a period of early-twentieth century art or a set of styles?  If the modernist novel still exists today, is it necessarily formally avant-garde? Does it continue Virginia Woolf’s task of tracing ‘the atoms as they fall upon the mind in the order in which they fall’? Does it employ what TS Eliot termed ‘the mythical method’, as ‘a way of controlling, of ordering, of giving a shape and a significance to the immense panorama of futility and anarchy which is contemporary history’?

This discussion launches our 2016 Ivan Juritz Prize for Creative Responses to Modernism, open to postgraduates from throughout the UK.  Please see ourcompetition page for more details.

The talk is free and will be followed by a drinks reception, but registration is required via our Eventbrite page.  It is open to the wider public but 150 seats have been set aside for students eligible to enter the competition.

Ali Smith was born in Inverness in 1962 and lives in Cambridge. She is a writer of novels, short stories, plays, and criticism. Her latest novel, How to be Both, was recently announced the winner of the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction

Vesna Goldsworthy was born in Belgrade in 1961 and has lived in London since 1986. She is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia and the author of four widely translated books: Inventing Ruritania, on the shaping of cultural perceptions of the Balkans; the Crashaw Prize winning poetry collection, The Angel of Salonika,; and two international bestsellers, both of which were serialised on BBC Radio 4, Chernobyl Strawberries, a memoir, and Gorsky, a novel, currently Waterstones Book of the Month.

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November 9, 2015
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Edmund J Safra Lecture Theatre
King’s College London, Strand
London, WC2R 2LS United Kingdom
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November 9, 2015, 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm