Inventing the Modern Novel

Wednesday 19 November, 6.30-7.45pm, Edmund J Safra Lecture Theatre

Rachel Cusk and Will Self in conversation with Lisa Appignanesi

Acclaimed novelists Rachel Cusk and Will Self 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 is free and will be followed by a drinks reception.  It is open to the wider public but 150 seats have been set aside for students eligible to enter our Creative Responses to Modernism competition.To book please visit

The Creative Responses to Modernism competition is open to postgraduate students from throughout the UK, and the closing date is Monday 30 March 2015. For details please visit