Greek crisis ‘awakens age-old anxieties about what paper money itself means, what relations of power and trust it symbolises and what happens when they begin to break down’

Cultures of Trust

It’s time for artists to take over the banks

Nicky Marsh, University of Southampton

Although things in Greece appear to have stabilised slightly after a fortnight of dramatic uncertainty, the heightened speculation on the future of Greek money that we saw at the height of the crisis is by no means irrelevant.

A BBC journalist, speaking in Athens just as the referendum results were reported, considered the whereabouts of the drachma printing presses (he needn’t have bothered: the Greek finance minister had confirmed some days earlier that they had been destroyed on Greece’s entry into the euro). Elsewhere, scenarios involving Greece printing euros independently of the European Central Bank, stamping existing euros with the word “drachma”, using IOUs, bitcoins or local currencies began to circulate.

These anxieties weren’t confined to Greece. On the day that the German parliament voted on the bailout, the light artist…

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New year’s resolution (sort of…)

I started this blog last summer with a post publicising Parade’s End: A Celebration, an event held at London’s Institute of English Studies in September 2012 which I co-organised with Ashley Chantler. Back then, I had intended to follow my first post with others about my research and related issues. However, the time between then and now slipped away and the PE celebration post remained my only contribution to this site… until now.

Last year was something of a transitional year for me. It marked the culmination of two major Ford Madox Ford-related projects. The first was my book, Ford Madox Ford and the Misfit Moderns, which was published by Palgrave Macmillan in September. The second was the three-day international academic conference Ford Madox Ford’s Parade’s End: Modernism and the First World War which Ashley and I also co-organised.

ShowJacket Parade's End Conference Poster-001

Although Ford remains a significant research interest (I am currently co-editing three collections of essays on Ford and his writing), the primary focus of my research has now shifted. I’m planning, therefore, to use this blog as a space to sketch out new ideas and to think ‘out loud’, particularly in relation to my new book-project on money, modernity and trust. This project examines works written between 1890-1990 in which the problematics of trust are both thematised and formally-, linguistically-, and structurally-inscribed. The authors discussed will include George Gissing, Oscar Wilde, Edith Wharton, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Evelyn Waugh, Jean Rhys, Thomas Pynchon, B. S. Johnson, Harold Pinter, and Angela Carter, among others.

2012 saw an even more significant transition, however: as my wife Ruth’s maternity leave came to an end in April we decided that we would both work part-time and share childcare responsibilities between us. Our son, who is now approaching his second birthday, was nine months old at the time and so for the last fourteen months I’ve spent part of my week taking care of a small person and the rest in the world of academe. This incredible, exhausting, bewildering, at times isolating, at times frustrating, and yet inexpressibly rewarding experience has transformed my life (which had, of course, already transformed utterly when I became a father in 2011). I would like, then, to try to write something here about the last year-and-a-bit and some thoughts it has prompted about childcare, gender, equality and work in British society today.

So, watch this space…

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Parade’s End: A Celebration of Ford Madox Ford’s First World War Modernist Masterpiece

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Thursday 27 September 2012, 5:30-7:30pm

Institute of English Studies, Senate House, University of London


‘There are not many English novels which deserve to be called great: Parade’s End is one of them.’ W. H. Auden

Join us for a celebration of Ford Madox Ford’s First World War modernist masterpiece, Parade’s End. First published as Some Do Not . . . (1924), No More Parades (1925), A Man Could Stand Up – (1926) and Last Post (1928), Parade’s End has been described by Anthony Burgess as ‘the finest novel about the First World War’, by Samuel Hynes as ‘the greatest war novel ever written by an Englishman’, by Malcolm Bradbury as ‘a central Modernist novel of the 1920s, in which it is exemplary’, and by John N. Gray as ‘possibly the greatest 20th-century novel in English’.

As part of the three-day international conference ‘Ford Madox Ford’s Parade’s End : Modernism and the First World War’, this event will celebrate Ford’s tetralogy with a Q&A session chaired by Sara Haslam, with special guests including Susanna White, the BAFTA award-winning director of the BBC/HBO adaptation of Parade’s End scripted by Sir Tom Stoppard and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Rebecca Hall, Adelaide Clemens, Miranda Richardson and Rupert Everett; and Rupert Edwards, producer/director of Who on Earth Was Ford Madox Ford? A Culture Show Special.

This will be followed by a wine reception and launch of the magnificent new critical editions of the four novels that make up Parade’s End, edited by Max Saunders, Joseph Wiesenfarth, Sara Haslam and Paul Skinner and published by Carcanet Press.

Email to contact the organisers Rob Hawkes and Ashley Chantler.

Please email if you wish to attend.

To view the full conference programme and to register please visit:

This event is kindly sponsored by CarcanetOxford University Press and the Open University.


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