Dr Lars Iyer
Reader in Creative Writing
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7758
I am a Reader in Creative Writing and Subject Head of Creative Writing.
I have published four novels, which, by their formal experimentalism and subject-matter, are rooted in European traditions of literature, and have been linked by reviewers to Beckett and Bernhard. My novels reflect my interests in the Continental European thought and are fundamentally comic in style and vision. They have been translated into several languages and long- and shortlisted for various awards.
Before joining the Creative Writing, I taught philosophy for many years at Newcastle University. I have published widely on aesthetics, with special emphasis on the philosophy of literature, and have a particular interest in the philosophy of music.
I write novels of ideas, the protagonists of which are amateur or professional philosophers trying to make sense of the world around them. My work is fundamentally comic, in the broad tradition of Beckett but also British comedy (virtually every reviewer of my work mentions Withnail and I) and is rooted in continental-philosophical and literary writings of the past century, which reflects my own intellectual background.
To date, I have published four novels, the first three of which comprise the Spurious trilogy (Spurious (2011), Dogma (2012), Exodus (2013)). The fourth, Wittgenstein Jr (2014) and my soon-to-be-completed fifth, Nietzsche and the Burbs, comprise the first two parts of a much more loosely constructed trilogy, linked only by theme and narrative approach, each of which takes the life of a world-famous philosopher as their narrative template and stylistic guide, recasting these historical thinkers in contemporary Britain.
My fiction explores the impact of larger social forces on the feelings and modes of existence of people in contemporary life. The forces in question include neoliberal capitalism and contemporary work practices (bureaucracy, managerialism). The feelings in question include ‘negative’ emotions of despair, ennui, as well as modes of cynicism and opportunism. The modes of existence in question include philosophising, artistic production (writing, music-making), political activism and religious practices, as well as ethical practices in general (especially friendship and community).
My fiction employs unusual narrative structures, in which access to the characters and their fictional world is filtered through reported speech. As such, they are rooted in the work of Thomas Bernhard, and I consider myself to be a post-Bernhardian writer, drawing on his innovative approach to fiction-writing. Although my work employs distinctively British forms of humour, particular in its shifts of tone (from high seriousness to grotesque comedy), I see my work as a response to continental literary and philosophy modernism. It is fiction in this tradition, for example, that written by Franz Kafka, Marguerite Duras and Clarice Lispector, that interests me. Contemporary authors I admire include Roberto Bolaño, Gabriel Josipovici and Enrique Vila-Matas.
I also have a strong interest in the work of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Bataille, Levinas, Blanchot, Agamben and Virno, with special reference to aesthetics (in particular literature and music) and political philosophy.
I am currently supervising a Northern-Bridge funded PhD that uses Jacques Rancière's notion of dissensus to explore free improvisational practice in music.
I have supervised the following PhDs to completion:
Stephen Overy, The Genealogy of Nick Land's Anti-Anthropocentric Philosophy: A Psychoanalytic Conception of Machinic Desire (2016)
Adam Potts, From Active to Passive Noise: Rethinking the Radicalism of Japanese Noise Music (2014)
Will Schrimshaw, A Sound Takes Place: Noise, Difference and Sonorous Individuation After Deleuze (2013)
I welcome applications from students wanting to work on creative writing, literary theory, the philosophy of literature, aesthetics, and continental philosophy from the nineteenth century to the present.
- Iyer L. My Weil. 2019. In Preparation.
- Iyer L. Nietzsche and the Burbs. 2018. In Preparation.
- Iyer L. Wittgenstein Jr. New York: Melville House, 2014.
- Iyer L. Exodus. New York: Melville House, 2013.
- Iyer L. A Literary Manifesto after the End of Literature and Manifestos, or Nude in Your Hot Tub with a Good View of the Abyss. Post Road 2012, 22, 139-149.
- Iyer L. Desnudo en la bañera, asomado al abismo (Manifiesto literario tras el fin de la literatura y los manifiestos). Spain: fronterad, 2012.
- Iyer L. Dogma. New York: Melville House, 2011.
- Iyer L. Spurious. New York: Melville House Press, 2011.
- Iyer L. Impersonal Speech: Blanchot, Virno, Messianism. Journal for Cultural Research 2009, 13(3-4), 281-296.
- Iyer L. Our Responsibility: Blanchot's Communism. In: Roma, V, ed. The Unavowable Community. Barcelona: Actar, 2009, pp.87-112.
- Iyer L. The Being of Noise. In: Long D; Thomas R, ed. Noise/Silence. Dublin: Irish Museum of Modern Art/ Dublin Contemporary 2011, 2009, pp.4-5.
- Iyer L. Speaking the Real: Richard Middleton's Voicing the Popular. Radical Musicology 2008, 3.
- Iyer L. The Fact of Language: Recent Literature on Blanchot. Journal for Cultural Research 2007, 11(3), 265-282.
- Iyer L. There is Language: Speech and Writing in Blanchot. Parallax 2006, 12(2), 83-97.
- Iyer L. Blanchot’s Vigilance: Literature, Phenomenology and the Ethical. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.
- Iyer L. Logos and Difference Blanchot, Heidegger, Heraclitus . Parallax 2005, 11(2), 14-24.
- Iyer L. Blanchot, Levinas et l’érotique. In: Hoppenot, E, ed. L'Oeuvre du Féminin dans l'écriture de Maurice Blanchot. Paris, France: Éditions complicitiés, 2004, pp.243-258.
- Iyer L. Blanchot’s Communism: Art, Philosophy and the Political. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.
- Iyer L. Capitalism and Religion. Journal of Religious and Cultural Theory 2004, 5(2), 115-122.
- Iyer LK. Capitalism and Religion: a review. Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory 2004, 5(2), 115-122.
- Iyer L. Death and responsibility, the 'work' of Levinas. Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 2003, 34(1), 101-103.
- Iyer L. El templo de la noche. Reflexiones sobre el origen de la obra de arte en Blanchot y en Heidegger. Asociación de Estudios Filosóficos 2003, 17(3), 25-43.
- Iyer L. The Impossibility of Loving. Blanchot, Sexual Difference, Community. The Journal of Cultural Research 2003, 7(3), 227-242.
- Iyer L. The Movement of Testimony: Affliction in Blanchot and Antelme. Journal of Social and Political Thought 2003, 2(1).
- Iyer L. The Unbearable. Trauma and Witnessing in Blanchot and Levinas. Janus Head 2003, 6(1), 37-63.
- Iyer L. The workless community: Blanchot, communism, surrealism. Paragraph 2003, 26(3), 51-69.
- Iyer L. Write! Write! Blanchot, Kofman and Levinas on Witnessing. Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory 2003, 5(1), 58-83.
- Iyer L. Blanchot, narration, and the event. Postmodern Culture 2002, 12(3), u25-u48.
- Iyer L. Levinas on Existence. Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 2002, 33(1), 39-51.
- Iyer L. Literary Communism. Blanchot’s Conversations with Bataille and Levinas. Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy 2002, 6(1), 45-62.
- Iyer L. The City and the Stars. Politics and Alterity in Heidegger, Levinas and Blanchot. Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory 2002, 3(3), 1-15.
- Iyer L. Cave Paintings and Wall Writings. Blanchot’s Signature. Angelaki 2001, 6(3), 31-43.
- Iyer L. Our Responsibility. Blanchot’s Communism. Contretemps, an Online Journal of Philosophy 2001, 2, 59-73.
- Iyer L. The Birth of Philosophy in Poetry. Blanchot, Char, Heraclitus. Janus Head, Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Continental Philosophy, Literature, Phenomenological Psychology and the Arts 2001, 4(2), 358-383.
- Iyer L. The Sphinx’s Gaze. Art, Friendship and Philosophical in Blanchot and Levinas’. Southern Journal of Philosophy 2001, 39(2), 189-206.
- Iyer L. Born With the Dead: Blanchot's Mourning. Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities 2000, 5(3), 39-50.
- Iyer L. The Paradoxes of Fidelity. Blanchot, Philosophy and Critical Commentary. Symposium, Journal of the Canadian Society for Hermeneutics and Postmodern Thought 2000, 4(2), 189-208.