Fifteen Eighty Four


Tag Archives: modernism

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  • 20 Sep 2022
    Paul Stasi

    Are we happier now?

    The late Gilbert Sorrentino once told me that “even Kafka has to write ‘He opened the window.’” It took me some time to feel the force of this remark. But after years of studying modernist literature, and after I found myself pushing further and further back into the 19th century, I began to see what […]

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  • 15 Feb 2022
    Catriona Livingstone

    Virginia Woolf, Science, Radio and Identity

    Sometimes, during research, what appears to be a narrow, well-charted path opens out into a startling vista. In 2016, my PhD supervisor, Anna Snaith, advised me to look at the transcripts of early radio broadcasts that were printed in the BBC magazine The Listener. I had just begun the research for a PhD thesis on […]

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  • 21 Sep 2021
    Antony Rowland

    The Secret of Poetry

    When Geoffrey Hill began his fourth lecture as Oxford Professor of Poetry in 2011, the audience members clearly expected a mischievous performance. In his first lecture, Hill had promised a future evaluation of contemporary British poetry, and in the subsequent oration he did not hold back, appraising creative writing as a neoliberal efflorescence of a […]

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  • 31 Mar 2021
    Verna Kale, Sandra Spanier

    Hemingway the movie: behind the scenes with Sandra Spanier and Verna Kale

    Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s HEMINGWAY premieres on PBS on April 5, 2021. Directed by acclaimed documentary filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, written by Geoffrey C. Ward, and produced by Sarah Botstein, Burns, and Novick, HEMINGWAY is a production of Florentine Films and WETA, Washington, D.C. The three-part, six-hour film series explores the life […]

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  • 2 Dec 2020
    Manya Lempert

    Tragedy, Art of Dissent

    Think of the lies. Climate change is a hoax. Colonization benefits the colonized. Rape is your fault. Grief is your fault. Mortality is your fault. Tragedy exposes these lies. I argue in my book that modern writers like Thomas Hardy, Virginia Woolf, Albert Camus, and Samuel Beckett thought of Greek tragedy in this way – […]

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  • 28 May 2020
    Melanie Benson Taylor

    Southern Silence: American Literature and Viruses

    It is a mystifying fact that the 1918-19 Spanish influenza pandemic—which infected one-third of the world’s population and killed between 50-100 million—inspired almost no works of American literature. Also puzzling: of these few, the three most significant and acclaimed were written by southerners.  Virginia native Willa Cather’s One of Ours (1922), Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel (1929), and Katherine […]

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  • 21 May 2020
    Manya Lempert

    Emergency Literature

    In Camus’s The Plague (1947), two Frenchmen in the Algerian town of Oran “gazed down at what was a dramatic picture of their life in those days: plague on the stage in the guise of a disarticulated mummer.” An actor has passed away mid-performance. As he plays the role of ill-fated Orpheus, plague overtakes him […]

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  • 12 May 2020
    Matthew Beaumont


    London, under the conditions of social isolation, has been turned inside out. Its centre is empty; its peripheries are full of people.  The streets of the city’s suburbs, in the unseasonable heat of the Easter weekend, bristle with pedestrians. Entire families, even extended families, occupy the pavements. Couples weave along the roadsides in an attempt to evade them, almost colliding with cyclists and […]

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