Surrey English Blog

The blog for English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Surrey

Isolation Insight: Brave New World

2020 has been a year of adjustment, a year of acclimation. Our world has changed. The past is, in many ways, unrecognisable. The streets of my home city, lined with people in masks, plastic visors, barriers, one-way systems and bottles of hand sanitiser, are a new and unfamiliar landscape. There is plenty that has been […]


Isolation Insight: Video Game Escapism

‘Reality is broken. Game designers can fix it.’ – Jane McGonigal Video games have long been associated with escapism. This week I want to talk about video game narratives and their place amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. It’s no secret to my friends and family that I am an avid consumer of video games. I used […]


Isolation Insight: Fight Club

“The things you used to own, now they own you.” The first rule of Fight Club? You don’t talk about Fight Club. And yet this week, Chuck Palahniuk’s 1996 novel, Fight Club, is exactly what my guest, Emma Brine, wants to talk about. Fight Club is Palahniuk’s second novel. A ‘tantalising exploration of violence, male […]


Isolation Insight: The Cynicism of Bukowski

“My ambition is handicapped by laziness.” Charles Bukowski: a ‘mythic roughneck’, a ‘brawler, gambler, companion of bums and whores, boozehound with an oceanic thirst’. Bukowski is the author of a wealth of literature, ranging from poetry, to short stories, to full novels. Referred to as a ‘laureate of American lowlife’, and well known for his […]


Isolation Insight: The Swan Book

“Welcome to the dystopia of dysfunction.” Taken from the pages of The Swan Book, these words are eerie in the light of the past few weeks’ events. ‘Epic political theatre’ seems to have taken the UK by storm[1]. Among other news, the Government’s most senior advisor has been accused of flouting the Coronavirus lockdown rules, […]


Isolation Insight: Navigating Change

“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” So reads Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Yet, despite the two hundred years that have passed since publication, Shelley’s words possess an unnerving weight in today’s contemporary climate. Indeed, 2020 has marked a very great and very sudden change. The world as we know […]


Blogging Victorian Literature and Culture

Showcasing blogs from my second year module: Undergraduates on my second year ‘Victorian Literature and Culture’ module have, over the past few years, been asked to submit a blog post as one of their assignments. It’s a type of assessment that gives students practice writing outside the parameters of the academic essay and helps students […]


Special Issue on the Monstrous

Dr. Donna McCormack (Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Surrey) speaks about the recent Special Issue of the journal Somatechnics that she edited with the steering committee of the Monster Network. The Monster Network has been busy doing collective work and is happy to announce the publication of a special issue of the […]


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