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Star and Shadow Radio presents


Presented by Em Anderson

Thu 11 February // 20:00 / Radio

Tickets: £0

Fortnightly on Thursdays, 8pm.

A celebration of creative projects that never got finished, that have yet to be finished, or that never made it out into the world.

What’s the value to be found in unfinished and private writing, art, and music? What stops us from finishing things off? And what might happen if the pressure to complete projects disappeared?

I’ll be asking my guests to search their bottom drawers and the abandoned corners of their laptops to rediscover secret and incomplete schemes.

If you have an unfinished or unpublished project you’d like to talk about, email me at unfinished.unpublished@gmail.com

My guest this week is Adam Smyth, a Professor of English Literature and the History of the Book at Balliol College, Oxford University. He recently published a fascinating article listing projects that he describes as “abandoned or failed” – making him the perfect guest! You can read the article at adamsmyth.substack.com.

We talk (among other things) about why the list might be the ultimate form for unfinished work, about not finding what you’re looking for in archives, and about why we’re so desperate to claim that projects aren’t ever really abandoned.    

Adam works mainly on early modern writing and its material forms. Right now he's editing Pericles for Arden Shakespeare, and writing a trade book about the biography of important makers of books. Adam is also the co-editor, with Gill Partington and Simon Morris, of a new journal about material texts, called Inscription, which you can find here: https://inscriptionjournal.com/how-to-buy/.