Patrick Wright is Professor of Literature and Visual & Material Culture at King's College London. His books include Passport to Peking: A Very British Mission to Mao's China (2011), Iron Curtain: from stage to Cold War (2007), Tank: the Progress of a Monstrous War Machine (2000);The Village that Died for England (1995), A Journey Through Ruins: the Last Days of London (1991) and On Living in an Old Country: the National Past in Contemporary Britain (1985). He is presently researching Uwe Johnson's ten year residence in Sheerness, working with the translator Damion Searls. His documentary on the subject, A Secret Life: Uwe Johnson in Sheerness, was broadcast by BBC Radio Three on 19 April 2015.
An Unfathomable Ship
Uwe Johnson's view of the Richard Mongomery Towards the end of 1974, the famous East German writer, Uwe Johnson, left Berlin and moved to north Kent, where he took up residence in a house on Marine Parade in Sheerness. He lived there, introducing himself to locals as 'Charles', until his early death in 1984. This talk will describe what he made of the view across the the Thames estuary from his window - sea-wall, shingle beach, the so-called 'German Sea,' and the protruding masts of the sunken Liberty ship, the Richard Montgomery, still full of bombs intended for Germany. Credits: Translator, Damion Searls. Patsy Wood Trust. Leverhulme Trust
Just Call Me Charles
Patrick will also be appearing alongside Chris Reed and other members of Big Fish Arts (Sheerness) to introduce and read some of Uwe Johnson's fragmentary but brilliant 'Island Stories' on Paivi's light ship.
This is scheduled as part of the programme for the evening of 22nd September.