My PhD researches the legacies of modernism in contemporary literature, exploring the concepts of lateness/late style, and expanding its implications to analyse post-millennial literature. My research examines the challenges of writing after Samuel Beckett, ‘the last modernist’, and has a particular focus on Irish modernist legacies in the work of Eimear McBride, Claire-Louise Bennett, and Mike McCormack.
My thesis also explores transnational models of lateness and modernist legacies, across the work of Ben Lerner, Maggie Nelson, Zadie Smith, Rachel Cusk, Olga Tokarczuk, Tom McCarthy, and Teju Cole. By analysing these authors’ formal rather than biographical ‘late styles’, and how it relates to disruptive temporal dynamics within their works, I propose we can gain a better understanding of their distinctive political, ethical, and affective engagements.
My research is situated across several overlapping critical fields; lateness and late styles (Kevin Brazil, Peter Boxall, Ben Hutchinson), modernist legacies (Laura Marcus, David James, Jacqueline Rose, Urmila Seshasgiri), Irish modernism/literature (Paige Reynolds, Joe Cleary, Margaret Kelleher) and contemporary literature/styles (Derek Attridge, Rebecca Walkowitz, Sharae Deckard).
I also consider the roles that independent publishers in the UK and Ireland play in promoting ‘experimental’ contemporary literature – publishers such as Galley Beggar Press, Tramp Press, Stinging Fly Press, and Fitzcarraldo Editions. My research asks how we might think of them as post-millennial purveyors of various modernist sensibilities, while also considering them as distinct entities with their own aesthetic perspectives.