Scott McCracken (Keele University) will be presenting his paper, ‘The Perfect Imbecility of the Stream’: Dorothy Richardson and Stream of Consciousness, at 3:30 pm, Tuesday 25 November 2014. The seminar will take place at the City Campus of the University of Wolverhampton in MK301.
Coming out of current work on the Dorothy Richardson Scholarly Editions Project at Keele University, this paper focuses on the first writer whose fiction was described as ‘stream of consciousness’ (by May Sinclair in The Egoist in 1918). Although Richardson’s work has become associated with the phrase, she herself found it a very inadequate description of what she was trying to do. But if Richardson was not writing stream of consciousness fiction, what was she doing? Tracing the history of her engagement with and variously formulated objections to the metaphor of the ‘stream’ opens up new perspectives on what quickly became a clichéd description of modernist prose. Richardson’s letters, manuscripts and editions, which until recently were scattered across over 30 different archives in Britain and North America, offer a new view of her project and the problems it still presents for readers and editors.
About the Speaker
Scott McCracken holds a Chair in English Literature at Keele University. His research interests include literature and culture 1880-1930, modernism, gender, critical theory and popular fiction. Among other publications, he is the author Masculinities, Modernist Fiction and the Urban Public Sphere (Manchester University Press, 2007), Walter Benjamin’s Arcades: an Unguided Tour, co-authored with Peter Buse, Ken Hirschkop and Bertrand Taithe (Manchester University Press, 2006), and Pulp: Reading Popular Fiction (Manchester University Press, 1998). He is currently the Principal Investigator for the AHRC-funded Richardson Editions Project, and co-organiser with Daniela Caselli and Andrew Thacker of the Northern Modernism Seminar.