‘Shackleton’s Man Goes South: Climate crisis and Oulipan strategies,’ is the title of an introductory talk I’m giving at King’s College, London on 9 October, to kick off my residency in the French department there. It is primarily an opportunity — I think — to meet staff and students, most of whom for the first time. So, to make things simpler, my talk is scheduled as part of the research seminar series that runs through the term on Wednesday evenings. Here is the blurb, for my talk at least:
Author Tony White has recently been appointed Visiting Research Fellow and Creative Entrepreneur in Residence at King’s College London. In this introductory talk he will discuss his work, in particular the 2013 novel Shackleton’s Man Goes South — the first novel ever published by the Science Museum — and Dicky Star and the Garden Rule a novella that was specially commissioned to reflect upon the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. Both books deploy literary strategies associated with the Ouvroir de littérature potentielle. He will also briefly introduce the collaboration with KCL’s Dr Sanja Perovic and the artist Stuart Brisley that is the subject of his residency.
There are more events relating to the novel Shackleton’s Man Goes South coming up through October (more info on my events page), and the novel is still available free and DRM-free on the Science Museum website.
What there wasn’t room to say in the blurb for King’s College, London, above, is that Dicky Star and the Garden Rule was written to accompany a series of works entitled Atomgrad (Nature Abhors a Vacuum), also reflecting on the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, by the artists Jane and Louise Wilson. Readers in London may be interested to know that some of Jane and Louise’s Chernobyl works are currently on show in their exhibition at Paradise Row gallery, which runs until 26 October.
Here is a short video of my reading from Dicky Star and the Garden Rule, shot by publishers Forma at the novella’s launch at London’s Free Word Centre last year. The novella’s short afterword, also published on this blog, traces some of these connections with Jane and Louise’s work and with the Oulipo. There are plans for publication of a commercial ebook edition of Dicky Star and the Garden Rule, alongside the existing print edition, later this year. More info soon.