Northwestern Events Calendar


Henry Stead (University of St. Andrews), "Class Struggle in Catullan Rome: Jack Lindsay’s 'Brief Light: a novel of Catullus' (1939)"

When: Wednesday, February 22, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM CT

Where: Kresge Hall, 4364, 1880 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Elizabeth Upenieks   (847) 491-7597

Group: Department of Classics

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings


To Jack Lindsay (1900-1990), the Australia-born British communist poet and man of letters, discovering Marxism felt like coming home. He was fascinated with how individuals, especially artists and poets, could affect social change, and in his creative work, including his novels and poems, he sought to do so himself. His 1930s ancient historical novels are important early examples of the tradition of telling history ‘from below’. They are abandoned portals into a fascinating age; not so much (perhaps) the period of antiquity in which they are set, as the age in which they were written. This paper takes Lindsay’s novel Brief Light (1939) – about Catullus and Lesbia (but also so much more) – as a test case to explore what it to be gained today by recovering such unloved and obscure literary artefacts. 

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