The first novel from academic and Beckett specialist
|Paul Stewart, Now Then|
Now Then is the first novel by academic and Beckett specialist, Paul Stewart; best known for his recent Sex and Aesthetics in Samuel Beckett’s Works (Palgrave, 2011).
The book is a tight, psychological study of an ordinary man’s descent into near madness over the course of a single week as memories of a past repressed relationship force their way into the present. Stewart’s book drives forwards the fall of its protagonist, John Matthews, whilst at the same time merging dream and false memory (in which John often mistakes books or films for versions of what may have happened) into a challenging account of one man’s troubled relation with his past and what may – or may not – have occurred.
In the novel, the past is so powerful a force that it is cast in the present tense, with normal narrative in the past tense.
In this excerpt, the possibly traumatic relationship with Sarah Catherine Johnson insists on impinging on John’s everyday conscious, initially concerning vague memories of a trip to Santiago de Compestela.
LinksVideo: Paul Stewart reads from Now Then
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