CIDRAL Public Lecture & Roundtable: Writing Biography with Zachary Leader
|Starts:||16:00 8 Dec 2016|
|Ends:||18:00 8 Dec 2016|
|What is it:||Talk|
|Organiser:||School of Arts, Languages and Cultures|
|Who is it for:||University staff, Adults, Current University students, General public|
This event is part of CIDRAL's programme for Winter 2016, 'Possible Worlds'. Organised in association with the Centre for New Writing.
CIDRAL presents a public lecture and roundtable on writing biography.
The public lecture will be given by Zachary Leader, Professor of English Literature at the University of Roehampton. Professor Leader has published biographies of Saul Bellow (2015) and Kingsley Amis (2006) and is General Editor of the Oxford History of Life-Writing (forthcoming).
Saul Bellow and the Problems of Biography
How to write the life of a recently deceased novelist, a famous one, who writes close to the life, is deeply suspicious of biography, has already been written about extensively, and about whom a wide circle of living friends, ex-friends, acquaintances, colleagues, and relations, have passionately held and often diametrically opposed views. In addition, how to do so with the cooperation of the novelist’s “barbarically loyal” executor. Problems faced by all literary biographers include reading the life through the work, reading the work through the life, and balancing narrative and analysis. Problems faced by non-literary as well as literary biographers include how fully to go into matters; how much context to provide; how to negotiate an enormous archive (350 boxes of materials for Bellow); how much is owed, in the case of living or recently deceased subjects, to the sensibilities of people who have helped you; and how seriously to take the grounds for distrusting or disparaging the genre.
This will be followed by responses from Professor Roy Gibson (Classics, University of Manchester) and Professor Stephen Parker (German, University of Manchester)
Travel and Contact Information
Samuel Alexander Building