A Novel Without A World
The land beyond Fin’s garden – beyond the Ha Ha, before the dunes began – was for the most part barren. Styrofoam pebbles scudded the
The land beyond Fin’s garden – beyond the Ha Ha, before the dunes began – was for the most part barren. Styrofoam pebbles scudded the ground like clouds the sky had not loved, and aborted. But there where the land swept upwards from the shore, becoming clifftops, some small flowers grew. Their yellowy petals were weighted with a layering snow but they wore the weight of it lightly.
I knelt down to pet the umbels. Fin watched me. When I asked how it was that flowers grew in such a place, in such weather, Fin said it was because the flowers were vengeful. Vengeful? I said. Yes, Fin replied. Then Fin said the flowers were called birdsfoot trefoil or eggs and bacon or lotus corniculatus. That’s a lot of names, I said. Oh only three, Fin answered.’
Gareth Gavin Never Was: A Novel Without A World (Cipher Press, 2023)
The novel as a historical form is a project of worldmaking. Novels make and sustain worlds, systems of meaning, consistency, and plausibility. By doing so, they extend a domain of intelligibility, referentiality, and possibility. What would it mean, then, to imagine a novel without a world — to make prosaic ‘genres of dissociative life’ (Lauren Berlant) that take form without forming a world? In this event, Gareth Gavin will be joined by Bobby Benedicto and Daniel Colucciello Barber for a discussion that will take as its starting point the subtitle of a novel that attempts to unfold a world that ‘never was’, a brittle and breaking land of lost dreams and disappointments, things that never came to be.
Gareth Gavin is a writer whose work moves between fiction, theory, and creative criticism. Most recently, he is the author of Never Was: A Novel Without a World (Cipher Press, 2023). He currently teaches in the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester.
Daniel Colucciello Barber is a theorist and editor who is based in Berlin.
Bobby Benedicto is assistant professor of media and sexuality at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. His research interests lie at the intersections of queer theory, critical race theory, and death studies.
Daniel Colucciello Barber
ICI Berlin in cooperation with the Centre for New Writing
How to Attend
- At the venue (registration required): Registration will open on 1 Feb 2024
- Livestream available here. No prior registration or link required.
(Donnerstag) 19:30 - 21:00(GMT+01:00)
ICI BerlinChristinenstr. 18-19