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Beckett and God at Ulster

4 October 2011

Veteran avant-garde publisher, John Calder, is bringing his Beckett and God lecture tour to the University of Ulster’s Belfast campus on Thursday, October 13, at 7pm.

Taking place in the University’s Conor Lecture Theatre, this FREE event will consist of a public lecture by John Calder, an audience Q&A session and a reading from selected Beckett works by local actor and theatre director, Peter Quigley.

Co-organised by the University of Ulster’s School of English and History, the School of Languages and Cultures, and the Arts and Humanities Research Institute, the evening will be hosted by Dr Gerry Macklin, a senior lecturer with the University’s French department and a Beckett scholar.

Calder is a legend in the British publishing industry and was instrumental in bringing key European authors to the English-speaking world.

He is renowned for his lifelong commitment to publishing one of the most influential writers of the late modernist literary period, Samuel Beckett. Calder's relationship to Beckett was both personal and professional; he wascounted amongst Beckett's close circle of friends and greatly facilitated the writer’s early career by publishing texts which other publishers refused.

Calder is also recognised as being responsible for publishing some of the most significant literature of the 20th century, as well as single-handedly introducing  major figures of European literature to the English speaking world, including Goncourt prize winner, Marguerite Duras and acclaimed pioneer of the nouveau Roman form, Alain Robbe-Grillet.

Calder was fiercely independent in his publishing career and fought against the conservative literary establishment's censorship regulations, championing avant-garde writers such as Henry Miller, William S Burroughs, and Eugène Ionesco. Calder publications, founded in 1949, can now boast 23 Nobel prize-winning authors on its lists, including Beckett, Heinrich Böll, and Claude Simon.

Said Dr Macklin: “John Calder is uniquely placed to talk about both Beckett the writer and Beckett the man. His talk on Beckett and God will appeal to all those fascinated by the Beckett, his life and his prose writing and drama and also to anyone interested in religion and philosophy.”

Beckett and God takes place on Thursday, October 13, at the University of Ulster’s Conor Lecture Theatre, Belfast, at 7pm. The event is open to everyone. Admission is FREE and places can be reserved by emailing:

Notes for editors:

*John Calder is available for interview prior to the event. If you would to request an interview, or require further information, contact: Audrey Watson on: 075 40139366, or email: