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Prison Writing: Literary Resistance in Action

Thursday 26 March 2015

1 Hour


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Ticket price

Literary scholar Rivkah Zim explains why authors of prison writing are among the most influential in Western literature. Zim compares and links authors from different periods to explain how prison writing has been used from late antiquity to the modern day to both console and express broad human concerns. Boethius and Dietrich Bonhoeffer are paired as writers expressing their ideas; Thomas More and Antonio Gramsci as debating established concepts of church and state; and John Bunyan and Oscar Wilde concerned with grace and disgrace.  And she considers Primo Levi’s 40-year struggle to interpret his and others’ experience of the Holocaust.

Zim teaches early modern English and comparative literature at King’s College, London, and is author of The Consolations of Writing: Literary Strategies of Resistance from Boethius to Primo Levi and English Metrical Psalms: Poetry as Praise and Prayer, 1535–1601.

Supported by Ian and Carol Sellars.