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'Our Lives, Mrs Dalloway': A Creative-Critical Talk

Wednesday 20 February 2013, 6.30PM

Speaker(s): Professor John Schad, University of Lancaster

What is Ficto-Criticism and how can we use creative writing to better understand literature?

We are delighted to welcome Professor John Schad, Professor of Modern Literature at Lancaster University to the HRC this February. Professor Schad will give a creative-critical reading from a forthcoming body of work, exploring the relationship between literary analysis and creative writing.

In July 1905 a Swiss émigré called Johannes Schad married Marie Anne Wheeler in Paris.  They then moved to Palmers Green in newly built North London suburbia, where they lived together as man and wife for over 19 years.  In April 1924 the marriage, however, is nearing its end, and Marie has an appointment in Queen Ann Street in London’s West End.   ‘Our Lives’ follows Marie as she makes her way to this appointment through the very same streets walked by Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway just a year or so before, in June 1923.  Marie’s journey is, though, haunted not only by the thoughts of Mrs Dalloway but also the writing of the 1920s sexologist Dr Marie Stopes and, indeed, the post-war Swiss imaginary of Johannes.  Central to this imaginary is the figure of Ferdinand de Saussure, or rather ‘the eminent linguist, Mr X,’ as Saussure was once described by William James.

So: with whom does Marie have an appointment?  What is the outcome of that appointment?  And what, come the end of ‘Our Lives,’ happens to our understanding of Mrs Dalloway, Marie Stopes and Ferdinand de Saussure?

"Our Lives, Mrs. Dalloway" is part of the Strange Bedfellows Project, supported by the Centre for Modern Studies and the Humanities Research Centre.  For more information, go to 

Location: Bowland Auditorium, Berrick Saul Building

Admission: All welcome