B.S. Johnson and the
Possibilities of the Avant-Garde Novel
One-day conference, University of Sussex
Saturday, May 5th 2012
Sponsored by the Centre for Modernist Studies
in association with the B.S. Johnson Society and Cardiff University
BS Johnson has been described as a “one-man avant-garde of the 1960s”. This conference sought to locate Johnson as part of the wider avant-garde – British, Irish and continental – and to ask what other genealogies are at play in his fiction. Papers that considered the full range of his work – filmic, poetic, dramatic, and journalistic, as well as literary, were given. The persistence of modernism in his work and a variety of contexts, including historical, philosophical, and theoretical, were explored in order to build on the recent surge in critical and scholarly interest in Johnson’s writing.
Participants included David James (Nottingham), Rod Mengham (Jesus College, Cambridge), Philip Tew (Brunel) and Nicolas Tredell.
Event Directors – Martin Ryle (Sussex) and Julia Jordan (Cardiff).