Visiting Speaker, 12 Dec 2017: Nicky Marsh on Thomas Pynchon and money

Nicky Marsh (University of Southampton) will be presenting her paper, ‘Chasing Dorothy: Gender and Sacrifice in the Work of Thomas Pynchon’, at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 12 December 2017. The talk will take place in the Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Room 0.31, and will be followed by a wine reception.

2017.03.marshThe characters in Thomas Pynchon’s novels, from Gravity’s Rainbow to Against the Day, are constantly trying to catch The Wizard of Oz‘s Dorothy. Yet they never do but when they come close they often realise that it is the wrong Dorothy and in this lingering confusion over who Dorothy really is, I want to suggest, Pynchon points us to the need for a new kind of history for money in early twentieth-century America.  He points us not to the bimetal debates with which the original novella has become so synonymous but to the emergence of credit money and its complex relationship to notions of both gender and sacrifice. This paper follows Pynchon as he follows Dorothy and tries to suggest a language for money that can acknowledge this submerged history.

This talk was originally scheduled for May 2017.



Reminder: Nicky Marsh on Thomas Pynchon and money tomorrow


Visiting Speaker, 4 Apr 2017: Lise Jaillant on Modernism and publishing

Lise Jaillant (Loughborough University) will be presenting her paper, ‘“Modernist” Publishers, Publishers of “Modernism”’, at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 4 April 2017. The talk will take place in the Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Room 2.48, and will be followed by a wine reception.

2016.07.jaillantCommercial publishers are nearly invisible in New Modernist Studies. There is no history of Random House, no history of Harcourt Brace and no history of Faber & Faber. One reason for this invisibility is that commercial firms published a wide range of texts—what we now see as ‘Modernism’ was issued alongside ‘popular’ texts. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, the Phoenix Library published Wyndham Lewis’s first novel Tarr but also popular novels and even a cookery book. Since difficult ‘Modernist’ texts continue to dominate our understanding of early twentieth-century literature, we tend to neglect these publishing enterprises or to study only the tiny portion of their activities that relates to ‘Modernism’.

This talk will address two points: 1) why so few modernist scholars have studied commercial publishers (unlike Victorianists, who have long been interested in book publishers and their impact on the literary text); 2) what we can do to expand the sub-field of Modernist Print Culture, building on existing work in periodical studies and strengthening our relationship with scholars of book history. In this context, ‘Modernist’ would be synonymous with ‘Early Twentieth Century’ to include all kinds of texts published at that time. The conclusion will present Lise’s digital map of publishers in New York in the 1920s, part of a chapter forthcoming with Cambridge University Press. (more…)

2016/17 Speakers Programme now available

The 2016/17 programme of speakers at the Centre for Editorial and Intertextual Research is now available to view on our Events: Speakers Programme page. Talks this session from a range of national and international scholars will explore a variety of subjects, including digital literature, Romantic poetry and eighteenth-century drama, book history and modernism, and postmodern fiction. The talks will be followed by wine reception, and all are welcome!


Rosie Johns, Publishing in the modern era: Introduction

This blog post is the first of a series by Rosie Johns, exploring the challenges and opportunities involved in book publishing in the 21st-century environment.  These posts are being written as part of Rosie’s second project on the Project Management and Research Undergraduate module at Cardiff University.


Reading is a near-essential, and vastly enjoyable, part of our lives.  Humans have been creating written records for thousands of years, from the clay tablets of Mesopotamia (accredited as the earliest form of writing, dating back to 3500 BC) to the hardback and paperback books we are familiar with today.

Since the introduction of the Kindle just over five years ago, eBooks have come to represent a new era in publishing – the digital era.  Books are now able to be published without manual labour, without materials and to a limitless quantity.  Publishing companies have begun, and will continue, to develop vastly different technology to adapt to the new digital demands.

This series of blogs will explore the advantages and limitations of the new digital age of book publishing.  I will provide anecdotal accounts, from a student perspective, of all facets of the publishing industry.  Questionnaires and interviews with professionals from all sectors of the publishing industry will be drawn upon to produce a one-of-a-kind resource, which I hope will be far removed from the detached observations made by other blogs, newspapers and studies.

Publishing is a field greatly affected by digital advancement, and the question of what the future holds for book publishing is one that I am keenly interested in, both on an intellectual and personal level.  This blog series seeks to give a detailed and accurate account into publishing and provide answers to questions of interest, regardless of whether (like me) you aspire to enter the field of publishing, or are simply curious about books and how they are produced.