Janine Utell

Janine Utell is Distinguished University Professor and Chair of English at Widener University. She is the author of Engagements with Narrative and James Joyce and the Revolt of Love.  She has several projects forthcoming, including Literary Couples and 20th Century Life Writing from Bloomsbury. She is Editor of the journal The Space Between: Literature and Culture 1914-1945.

Opening the Book, Part 1

For this two-part installment of Process, I asked eight scholars who had just finished a book—their first or their fourth—to write informally about their experience. Conferences often feature roundtables about writing and publishing, but I thought it might be a good addition to have some personal anecdotes, stories less attached to the mechanics of the industry and more to the quiddities of the book-writing process. A book might arrive as an artifact, but it begins as a dream or a compulsion or a hunch. No review or reading, however generous, does justice to the messiness of the life that seals itself into the final object of the book, as though in anticipation of the spell that may someday release it. The intent here is not so much to demystify as to re-enchant.