John Lennard

John Lennard

John Lennard is Professor of British and American Literature at the University of the West Indies, Mona, and a freelance academic and writer.

Biography

Lennard (b. 1964) grew up in Bristol, England and was educated at Bristol Grammar School and New College, Oxford. His doctoral thesis, on the use of brackets in English literature, was published by the Clarendon Press as the monograph "But I Digress", and called both "a delight-house of a book" [Ricks, Christopher, in "London Review of Books", 14 May 1992, p.9.,] and "the strangest book (I think) I have ever reviewed". [Wales, Katie, in "Times Higher Educational Supplement", 22 April 1992, p.22.] He taught at the Open University, the University of London, and the University of Cambridge before taking up his present chair at UWI. He is also a member of the Global Virtual Faculty of Fairleigh Dickinson University, and the general editor of the "Genre Fiction Sightlines" and "Monographs" series for Humanities-E-Books. [http://www.humanities-ebooks.co.uk]

Beyond his unusual work on punctuation Lennard's major work has been in literary handbooks for students in the last years of school and first of college. "The Poetry Handbook: A Guide to Reading Poetry for Pleasure and Practical Criticism" (OUP 1996, 2nd edition 2005) has now sold more than 20,000 copies and has an associated website. [http://www.oup.com/uk/booksites/content/0199265380/] It was followed by "The Drama Handbook: A Guide to Reading Plays" (co-written with Mary Luckhurst, Senior Lecturer in Modern Drama at the University of York), trying to bridge the gap between text-based literary and more performative teaching.

Lennard's more recent involvement with work on genre fiction, particularly Crime Writing, Science fiction, and Children's literature, reflects a long history of 'unliterary' reading and interest in literature as a means of living as well as a subject of aesthetic and historical study. He has variously protested the application of class snobbery to literature, and "But I Digress" features parentheses by Elvis Costello and Robert B. Parker as well as chapters on Marvell, Coleridge, and T. S. Eliot. Both "Handbooks" were similarly eclectic in choosing examples.

Lennard's former students include Maja Zade (dramaturg at the "Schauspielhaus", Berlin), Dr Anne Henry (Trinity College, Cambridge), Steven Poole of The Guardian, Dr Gautam Chakravarty (University of Delhi), Andrew Miller of "The Economist", and Tristram Stuart ("The Bloodless Revolution").

Works

*"But I Digress: The Exploitation of Parentheses in English Printed Verse" (Clarendon Press, 1991) ISBN 0-19-811247-5
*"The Poetry Handbook" (OUP, 1996). Second edition, 2005. ISBN 0-19-926538-0
*"The Drama Handbook" (OUP, 2002). With Mary Luckhurst. ISBN 0-19-870070-9
*"Of Modern Dragons and other essays on Genre Fiction" (Humanities-Ebooks, 2007). ISBN 978-1-84760-038-7
*"Literature Insights: Shakespeare," Hamlet (Humanities-Ebooks, 2007). ISBN 978-1-84760-028-8
*"Genre Fiction Sightlines: Reginald Hill," On Beulah Height (Humanities-Ebooks, 2007). ISBN 978-1-84760-035-6
*"Genre Fiction Sightlines: Walter Mosley," Devil in a Blue Dress (Humanities-Ebooks, 2007). ISBN 978-1-84760-042-4
*"Genre Fiction Sightlines: Octavia Butler," Xenogenesis / Lilith's Brood (Humanities-Ebooks, 2007). ISBN 978-1-84760-036-3
*"Genre Fiction Sightlines: Ian McDonald," Chaga / Evolution's Shore (Humanities-Ebooks, 2007). ISBN 978-1-84760-039-4
*"Genre Fiction Sightlines: Tamora Pierce," The Immortals: Wild Magic, Wolf-Speaker, The Emperor Mage, The Realms of the Gods (Humanities-Ebooks, 2007). ISBN 978-1-84760-037-0

*‘Punctuation: and – Pragmatics’, in A. Jucker, ed., "Historical Pragmatics" (Benjamins, 1995), pp. 65-98. ISBN 90-272-5047-2/1-55619-328-9
*‘Writing to Form : Verse’, in John Singleton & Mary Luckhurst, eds, "The Creative Writing Handbook: Techniques for New Writers" (Macmillan, 1996; 2nd ed., 1999), pp. 164-200. ISBN 0-333-79226-2
*‘Classical Learning in Regional Voices: The Work of Derek Walcott, Wole Soyinka, and Tony Harrison’, in Jean-Paul Lehners, Guy Schuller, & Janine Goedert, eds, "Regions, nations, mondialisation: Aspects politiques, economiques, culturels" (Centre Universitaire de Luxembourg, 1996), pp. 139-49. ISBN 2-87971-060-X
*‘CrimeFiction’, ‘Period’, ‘Punctuation’, ‘Rhyme’, ‘Apestail’, ‘Apostrophe’, ‘Blank’, ‘Caesura’, ‘Guillemets’, ‘Mise-en-Page’, ‘Nota’, ‘Parenthesis’, ‘Rhyme Scheme’, ‘Scriptio Continua’ & ‘Wrenched Accent’, in J. A. Cuddon, ed., "A Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory" (4th ed., rev. Claire Preston, Blackwell, 1998; Penguin, 1999). ISBN 0-631-20271-4
*‘Mark, Space, Axis, Function: towards a (new) theory of punctuation on historical principles’, in Anne Henry, Joe Bray, & Miriam Fraser, eds, "Ma(r)king the Text: The presentation of meaning on the literary page" (Ashgate, 2000), pp. 1-11. ISBN 0-7546-0168-4
*‘Reginald Hill’, in Jay Parini, ed., "British Writers Supplement IX" , (Scribner’s Sons, 2004), pp. 109-26. ISBN 0-684-31237-9
*‘R. K. Narayan’, ‘Paul Scott’, & ‘Derek Walcott’, in Jay Parini, ed., "World Writers in English " (2 vols, Scribner’s Sons, 2004), II. 385-407, 645-64, 721-46. ISBN 0-684-31289-1
*‘Ian Rankin’, in Jay Parini, ed., "British Writers Supplement X" , (Scribner’s Sons, 2004), pp. 243-60. ISBN 0-684-31312-X
*‘Introduction’ to "The Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes " (OUP, 2006), pp. ix-xxxii. ISBN 0-19-280636-X
*‘Staging ‘the Holocaust’ in England’, & (with Dawn Fowler) ‘On War: Charles Wood’s Military Conscience’, in Mary Luckhurst, ed., "The Blackwell Companion to Modern British and Irish Drama" (Blackwell, 2006). ISBN 1-4051-2228-5
*‘Patrick O'Brian’, in Jay Parini, ed, "British Writers Supplement XII", (Scribner's Sons, 2006), pp. 247-66. ISBN 0-684-31511-4

*Design and layout for Laura Curino, Passion (trans. Mary Luckhurst & Gabriella Giannachi), in Lizbeth Goodman, ed., "Mythic Women/Real Women: Plays and Performance Pieces by Women" (Faber & Faber, 2000), pp. 87-112. ISBN 0-571-19140-1
*Commentary, background material, and student notes in April De Angelis, "A Laughing Matter" (Faber & Faber/Out of Joint, 2002). ISBN 0-571-21772-9
*Programme essay and notes for Royal National Theatre/Out of Joint co-productions of "She Stoops to Conquer" and "A Laughing Matter " (London & touring, 2002-03)

*‘Dirty Weekend’, "Times Literary Supplement" 4591 (29/3/91)
*‘Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord’, "Times Literary Supplement" 4603 (21/6/91)
*‘Making Plays with Shakespeare’, "The English Review" 4.1 (9/93)
*‘Shop Talk’, "London Review of Books" 16.2 (27/1/94)
*‘When Thou hast Done...’, "Essays in Criticism" XLIV.2 (4/94)
*‘Major Horsefeathers’, "Times Literary Supplement" 4751 (22/4/94)
*‘The Redeemed Vicarage’, "London Review of Books" 16.9 (12/5/94)
*‘The Gold in Them Thar Hills’, "Threepenny Review" 67 (Fall 1996)
*‘Criminally Good’, "The Guardian" (london), 4/9/97, G2, p. 10
* [‘Mugging Up on India’] , "The Historical Journal" 41.2 (1998)
* [‘The Left Hand of Marlowe’] , "Modern Language Review" 96.3 (7/01)
*‘To Review the Reviewer’, "New Theatre Journal" 2 (6/02)
* [‘Men, Myths, and Marlowe’] , "Modern Language Review" 99.1 (1/04)
*‘The Prodigal’, "The Liberal : Poetry, Politics, Culture" (February/March 2005), pp. 36-7
*‘Informing a Voice’, "The Sunday Observer" (Kingston), 18/12/05, Lifestyle, p. 22
*‘Without Title’, "The Liberal : Poetry, Politics, Culture" (February/March 2006), p. 55
*‘Reservoirs of Blood’, "The Liberal : Poetry, Politics, Culture" (Autumn 2007), pp. 54-5

References


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