Skip to main content

English and Creative Writing

Photo of Dr John Bolin

Dr John Bolin

Senior Lecturer in English


01392 725553


Theory of the Novel; Literature and Emotion; Literature and Ethics; The Idea of the Literary; Postcolonial and Twentieth-century American Literature

Back to top


My research focuses on the development of the novel and the status of the literary from the modern period to the present. I am completing my second book project, on J.M. Coetzee among others.

My first book, Beckett and the Modern Novel (Cambridge: 2013) challenges the utility of reading Samuel Beckett's fiction through a narrow philosophical lens. It opens new avenues for understanding Beckett's work – and by extension, the form and significance of the modern novel – by engaging with English, French, German, and Russian literature. Using hitherto unpublished evidence from the major Beckett archives in the US, the UK and Ireland, I reveal Beckett's own preoccupation with what he termed the modern 'European novel': a lineage running from Sade to Stendhal, Dostoevsky, Gide, Sartre, and Celine. 

I have published articles in Modernism/modernity and The Review of English Studies. In 2008 I was awarded The RES Essay Prize for my work on Beckett’s early fiction. From 2009-11 I was the Co-chair of the Samuel Beckett: Debts and Legacies seminar at Oxford. I have been affiliated with the Modernism and Christianity project at the University of Bergen since 2010.

Back to top


Copyright Notice: Any articles made available for download are for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the copyright holder.

| 2023 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2012 | 2011 | 2009 | 2008 |


  • Bolin J. (2023) J. M. Coetzee and the Limits of the Novel, Cambridge University Press.


  • Bolin JS. (2018) Beckett's Critique of Literature, The New Beckett, Cambridge UP.
  • Bolin JS. (2018) Thresholds of the Novel: Realism, the Inhuman, the Ethical in J. M. Coetzee's Foe, Novel: A Forum on Fiction.


  • Bolin JS. (2017) Review of 'Matthews, John T.. William Faulkner: Seeing Through the South', Notes and Queries.
  • Bolin JS. (2017) Three Pioneers, A...P Press.


  • Bolin JS. (2016) 'Pecora, Vincent P.. Secularization without End: Beckett, Mann, Coetzee.', Modern Language Review.


  • Bolin JS. (2015) Dirk Van Hulle and Mark Nixon, 'Samuel Beckett's Library', Journal of Beckett Studies.
  • Bolin JS. (2015) 'Modernism, Idiocy, and the Work of Culture', Modernism/modernity, volume Vol.22, Number 2, pages 343-364, DOI:10.1353/mod.2015.0029.


  • Bolin JS. (2014) 'Poyner, Jane. J. M. Coetzee and the Paradox of Postcolonial Authorship' 2, Notes and Queries.


  • Bolin JS. (2012) Review of 'Baron, Scarlett, "Strandentwining Cable": Joyce, Flaubert, and Intertextuality', Notes and Queries.
  • Bolin JS. (2012) A Demented form of the Particular: Surrealism, Suite and Eleutheria, Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd'hui, volume 23, pages 261-275.
  • Bolin J. (2012) Beckett and the Modern Novel, Cambridge University Press.


  • Bolin JS. (2011) Review of 'Hayes, Patrick, J.M. Coetzee and the Novel: Writing and Politics after Beckett', Notes and Queries.
  • Bolin JS. (2011) Review of 'Le Juez, Brigitte, Beckett before Beckett', Journal of Beckett Studies.


  • Bolin JS. (2009) ‘Preserving the Integrity of Incoherence’?: Dostoevsky, Gide and the Novel in Beckett's 1930 Lectures and Dream of Fair to Middling Women, Review of English Studies, volume 60, no. 246, pages 515-537.


  • Bolin JS. (2008) Review of 'Moody, David. Ezra Pound: Poet (Volume 1) A Portrait of the Man and his Work, Volume 1: The Young Genius 1885–1920', Notes and Queries.

Back to top


I completed my BA in English at The College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara in 2002. From 2002-4 I was an MPhil student at Exeter College, Oxford, where I was a Clarendon Scholar, Overseas Research Student, and the Amelia Jackson Senior Student. From 2008-11 I was Stipendiary Lecturer in English at Oxford (St Catherine's College and Lincoln College), and the Bamborough Junior Research Fellow at Linacre College, Oxford. I was Lecturer in English at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales before coming to Exeter in August, 2013.

Back to top

 Edit profile