In April 2015, Joseph Darlington gave a talk on ‘The British Experimental Novelists of the 1960s; A Forgotten Avant Garde’ at the Ragged University in Manchester. He and Anne Fernie organised it and shared their knowledge in Gulliver’s – a great pub on Oldham Street in the Northern Quarter.
He introduced a history of the life and times of four writers – B.S. Johnson, Eva Figes, Alan Burns, and Ann Quin – and how their close allegiance has, until now, gone unrecognised by literary scholars. He examined how each member of this group broke new ground in their works and painted a picture of their iconoclastic experiments in form which resulted in books being published unbound, some cut apart and stuck back together, some merely transcripts of audio tapes, and other eyecatching and unusual approaches to remaking the novel form. Read more