Literary Essays: Dickens, Beckett and Others

Literary Essays: Dickens, Beckett and Others



Undead Letters: Beckett’s Anus Accidentels. A talk given at the Samuel Beckett Symposium, marking the publication of The Letters of Samuel Beckett: Vol. IV. 1966-1989, ed. George Craig, Martha Dow Fehsenfeld, Dan Gunn and Lois More Overbeck (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), King’s College, Cambridge, 25th November 2016. [pdf]

Looping the Loop: Tape-Time in Burroughs and Beckett. A lecture given in the series Taping the World, University of Iowa, 28 January 2010. [pdf version]

Making Flies Mean Something. A lecture given at the Beckett and Animality conference, University of Reading, 26 September 2009. [pdf version]

Writing The White Voice. A talk given at the Sound, Silence and the Arts symposium, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 28 February 2009. [pdf version]

Beckett’s Low Church. A lecture given at the English Institute symposium Beyond Belief, Harvard University, 28 September 2007.

Beckett and the World. A lecture given at the Global Beckett conference, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, 26 October 2006. [pdf version]

‘On Such and Such a Day…In Such a World': Beckett’s Radical Finitude. A lecture given at Borderless Beckett, An International Centenary Symposium, Tokyo, 1st October 2006. [pdf version]

‘My Fortieth Year Had Come and Gone and I Still Throwing the Javelin': Beckett’s Athletics. A talk given at theBeckett International Foundation Research Seminar, 18 June 2005

Beckett’s Atmospheres. A paper given at the ‘After Beckett/Après Beckett’ conference, Sydney, January 2003.

Slow Going. A paper given at the Critical Beckett conference held in Birmingham on 26 September 1998. It has been published in print form in Yearbook of English Studies, 30 (2000): 153-65.

‘How He Was’, rev. of James Knowlson, Damned to Fame: The Life of Samuel Beckett (London: Bloomsbury Press, 1996) and Anthony Cronin, Samuel Beckett: The Last Modernist (London: Harper Collins, 1996), Bullan: An Irish Studies Journal, 4.1 (1998): 121-6.

Beckett and Bion. A paper given at the Beckett and London conference held at Goldsmiths College, London in 1997.

Scribbledehobbles: Writing Jewish-Irish Feet. A paper given at the ‘Culture, Modernity and “the Jew” ‘ conference,Institute of English Studies, 1995.



Thaumodynamics: Making a Living in Great Expectations. The Hilda Hulme Lecture, Institute of English Studies, London, 9th June 2021. [pdf]

Dickens and the Date. A talk given at Dickens’s Days: Heritage, Celebrations and Anniversaries, Institute of English Studies, London, 8th October 2016. [pdf]

All I Believed Is True: Dickens and the Mesmerism System. A talk given at Dickens and Science, Dickens Day, Birkbeck College, London, 10 October 2009. [pdf version]

Drood and the Dust of Delight. A talk given at the Edwin Drood Day, Birkbeck College, 13 October 2007. [pdf version]

Forgeries: The Metallurgy of Great Expectations. A talk given at the Birkbeck Great Expectations Day, 24 September 2005.

Gruelling. An expanded version of a review article of Roman Polanski’s Oliver Twist (2005), in the Mail on Sundayon 21st August 2005.

The Perplexity of A Tale of Two Cities (Tastes, Rather Than Glimpses). A talk given at the Tale of Two Cities Day held at Birkbeck, 25 September 2004.

Oxygen Debt: Little Dorrit’s Pneumatics. A lecture given at the Birkbeck Little Dorrit Day, 28 September 2002.

Dickens, The Haunting Man: (On L-iterature). An extended version of a paper given at the conference A Man For All Media: The Popularity of Dickens 1902-2002 , Institute for English Studies, July 25-27 2002.

Consequential Ground: The Foot Passengers of Bleak House. A lecture given at the Bleak House Day held at Birkbeck College, 30 September 2000.



Modernist Anger Management. A paper written for the Centre for Modernist Cultures, University of Birmingham, 18th March 2020. [pdf]

Hilarious Arithmetic. The Annual Churchill Lecture, given at the University of Bristol, 27th February, 2014. [pdf version]

‘What’s one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one?’ Literature, Number and Death. A talk given at the 20th-21st Literature Seminar, University of Oxford, 4th December, 2013. [pdf version]

Channels. A lecture given at the Literature Media Sound conference, University of Aarhus, 30th November 2013.[pdf version]

Quantum Writing: Literature and the World of Numbers. A lecture given at the Institute of Continuing Education, Cambridge, 13th June 2013. [pdf version}

The Chances of Literature. A talk given at the Literature and Mathematics conference, University of Abderdeen, 12 June 2010 [pdf version]

Watching the Birdie. A response to the production of To You, The Birdie (Phèdre) by The Wooster Group at the Riverside Studios in May 2002, for a symposium on the work of the Wooster Group at the Cochrane Theatre London, 14-15 May 2002, organised by Andrew Quick and Adrian Heathfield.

Life Writing. An extended review of Ian Campbell Ross, Laurence Sterne: A Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), broadcast as Radio 3’s Book of the Month, Wednesday 21 March 2001.

An Airmail From the Monster. A text broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Nightwaves, 31 January 2001, to mark the 150th anniversay of Mary Shelley’s death.

Isaac Rosenberg: Birkbeck’s War Poet. A lecture given as part of Birkbeck College’s Mechanics to Millennium series, 30 October, 2000.

‘A Door Half Open To Surprise’: Charles Madge’s Imminence. A paper given at the Charles Madge and Mass Observation conference held at the University of Sussex, May 12th, 2000.

Modernism and the Writing Hand. An amplified version of a paper given at the Modernism and the Technology of Writing conference organised by Tim Armstrong in the Institute of English Studies, March 26, 1999.

Romanticism, Modernity and Biography. The text of a talk broadcast as BBC Radio 3’s `Book of the Month’, October 28th, 1997.

Virginia Woolf, the Baby and the Bathwater. Introduction to Virginia Woolf, The Years (London: Vintage, 1992).