The Post-War Experimental Novel: British and French Fiction, 1945 – 1975 (London: Bloomsbury)
The Post-War Experimental Novel constructs a topography of how the traumatic experience of the Second World War formed – or perhaps malformed – the post-war experimental novel. Focusing on British and French fiction, this book critiques how the aesthetic of symbolic violence became an empathetic means of communicating and building a memorial space omitted by literatures and societies of the post-war period. Themes of amnesia, myopia, delusion and dementia are constantly referred back to and posit in narrative a motive for the very broken forms these books often take – books in boxes, of spare pages to be shuffles at the reader’s will; with holes in pages; missing whole sections of the alphabet; or books written and then entirely scrubbed out in smudged black ink.
Covering the works of B. S. Johnson, Ann Quin, Georges Perec, Roland Topor, Raymond Queneau and others, Andrew Hodgson shows that there is method to the madness of experimental fiction and further legitimises the form as a prominent presence within a wider literary and historical movement in European and American avant-garde literatures.
Paper: ‘Obscene Experimentation: Cultural Refusal and the Experimental Novel in Post-Second World War Britain and France,’ Researching Subcultures and Aesthetics Symposium at NUI Galway, September 2019.
Paper: ‘The Experimental City: Urban Space as Narrative Movement in the Experimental Novel,’ Répresenter la Ville : Les Mots, Les Gestes et L’Esprit at Université Paris Est, September 2019.
Paper: ‘TRANSFORMAcTION: A British Post-Surrealist Insurgency, 1967-1979,’ Surrealisms 2019 at University of Exeter, August 2019.
Paper: ‘Scene and Structural Tonic: Forms of Reversal in Chris Marker’s La Jetée,’ Congrès d’études filmiques at Aix-Marseille Université, June 2019.
Paper: ‘On Dan Billany: Opening an Exploratory Discourse,’ Queer Modernisms III at University of Oxford, April 2019.
International Conference: Reconnecting Text and World: Re-reading the British Experimental Novel at Post-War at Université Paris Est, 18th and 19th April 2019.
‘Reading “Truth” in the Muthos and Mimesees of B. S. Johnson’s “Disintegration” Episode,’ The B. S. Johnson Journal, vol. 3, Truth, January 2017, p. 5-32.
Paper: ‘Oulipo as Act of War: Impossible Experience, Impossible Writing,’ Oulipo and the Second World War at Institute of Modern Languages Research, University of London, September 2016.
Paper: ‘Reading the Experimental Novel through the Écrits Bruts,’ Experimental Narratives: From the Novel to Digital Storytelling at Institute of Modern Languages Research, University of London, February 2015.