LITERATURE: The glitter band
Saturday 28 February 1998
The decentring of the novel is confronted by "All That Glitters", a South Bank Centre festival focus-ing on the Seventies. The second lecture looks at the apocalypse-laden fiction of the day, which was widely seen to be - like the country itself - in a state of grim, possibly terminal, recession. The title of Bart Moore-Gilbert's talk, "The Death of the Novel?", echoes that of a 1980 edition of Granta, "The End of the English Novel".
A lecturer in English, Moore-Gilbert argues that new writing in the Seventies had become attached to "narrative of decline. The publishing industry was hit by economic gloom and the readership of serious fiction seemed to be shrinking. There was widespread anxiety about the rise of visual media, and failing standards in education. There was also a feeling that the two main novelistic modes that had been dominant in the Fifties and Sixties, social realism and experimentalism, had become exhausted."
The other version of events is that the collapse of the consensus upon which many writers depended, particularly white, male middle-class ones, resulted in "a liberation of all sorts of subcultures that had been repressed". Rather than being a dead-end, Moore-Gilbert believes the Seventies represented a vital period of regrouping, by the end of which, the novel had found a route forward. Forthcoming highlights - Malcolm Bradbury (11 Mar), Carmen Callil on Angela Carter (21 Mar) and Germaine Greer, Erica Jong and Fay Weldon (25 Mar) - should reinforce the view that this particular stretch of memory lane, is not strewn, as is commonly supposed, with uncollected rubbish.
'All That Glitters' opens with Barbara Castle and Terry Eagleton on Tuesday, 3 Mar, 7.30pm, Purcell Room; 'The Death of the Novel?' 5 Mar, 7.30pm, Voice Box; all events SBC, SE1 (0171-960 4242)
Life & Style blogs
Google Maps hides image of Android robot urinating on Apple in surprisingly insolent Easter egg
KickassTorrents down: new Isle of Man domain taken offline just hours after launch
Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
£26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Haulage company based on the Thorpe Indu...
£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...
£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£28000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...