Andrew Nash (University of Reading) will be presenting his paper, ‘Six Notebooks in Search of an Editor: Samuel Beckett’s Murphy’, at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 26 April 2016. The talk will take place in the Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Room 4.43, and will be followed by a wine reception.
In 2013 the University of Reading was unexpectedly successful in acquiring at auction six manuscript notebooks which had for almost eighty years remained in private hands. The notebooks were those in which Samuel Beckett had written, over some ten months between August 1935 and June 1936, the first draft of what was finally to emerge in 1938 as his first published novel, Murphy. This talk will outline the unusual provenance history of this literary manuscript and discuss the status of the notebooks as commercialised, heritage and research objects. It will reflect on the experience of helping to transcribe and edit the notebooks, examining their distinctive material features which shed important new light on Beckett’s composition process and on the ‘archaeology’ of modern literary manuscripts more generally.
About the speaker
Dr Andrew Nash is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of English Literature at the University of Reading. His books include (ed.) The Culture of Collected Editions (2003); Kailyard and Scottish Literature (2007); (co-ed.) New Directions in the History of the Novel (2014); and most recently William Clark Russell and the Victorian Nautical Novel (2014). He is an editor of The Review of English Studies.