Irving Goh on Genres of Contemporary Failure: From “Epic Fail” to the Postscript

WhenNovember 15, 2018 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
WhereClassics Building, Room 110
Contact InformationComparative Literature Department
DescriptionIrving Goh (Franke Visiting Fellow, Whitney Humanities Center, Yale University
President’s Assistant Professor of Literature, National University of Singapore) will give a talk on "Genres of Contemporary Failure: From “Epic Fail” to the Postscript" in the Department of Comparative Literature on Thursday, Nov 15th at 4:30pm in Classics 110.

In this talk, I want to think about genres that arguably capture the sense of failure today. I take the latter to be quite different from twentieth-century failure, and in that regard, I would also venture to say that the genres in question distinguish themselves from the highly stylized writings on failure by modernist masters such as Samuel Beckett or TS Eliot. My first postulation is that the millennial-speak, “epic fail,” might just aptly grasp the scale and dimension of contemporary failure, and which could even lead us to rethink the epic today (through Maggie Nelson and Ottessa Moshfegh, perhaps). But I also want to postulate that the postscript – in a way that I would like to conceptualize it after thinkers and writers such as Maurice Blanchot, Georges Bataille, Jean-Luc Nancy, Édouard Levé, Fleur Jaeggy, and others – is its more philosophical and literary counterpart. Be it the postscript or “epic fail,” I argue that what is at stake is the articulation of failure as failure, and all the affects that accompany it.

If you require accommodations to attend this event, please email the department administrator, Ingrid Sagor at This event is free and open to the public.
CategoriesConferences/Lectures, Discussions, Lectures, Graduate Students
Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact the event sponsor for assistance.