BC Editions

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BC Editions

Series Editors: Katharine Craik (Oxford Brookes University, UK), Simon Palfrey (University of Oxford, UK), Thomas Karshan (University of East Anglia, UK).

BC Editions is the upcoming reincarnation of the Beyond Criticism book series, originally published by Bloomsbury and now being taken over by Boiler House Press. The series explores the radical new forms that literary criticism might take in the 21st century. You can read more about our mission by reading our manifesto.

The series will launch in Spring 2021 with a set of five books, ‘The Type Set’, including new works by Steve Hanson, Robert Crawford, Ansgar Allen, a new edition of the brilliant and now out-of-print Macbeth, Macbeth by Ewan Fernie and Simon Palfrey, and a final book still to be announced. See below for more details.

The Type Set

The Type Set  is the upcoming set of five new titles, which will launch the BC Editions series next spring. The name has multiple connotations, some tongue-in-cheek and some more serious. The creative-critical is a new ‘type’ of writing, one which expands and explodes the notion of what a ‘type’ (a ‘kind’, a ‘genre’) is. Each of the five books in the set does this in a different way, negotiating with different ‘types’ of writing (essays, criticism, sacred religious texts, archival material, pedagogical writing, drama, fiction) and ‘setting’ them against each other in new combinations, or else revealing those types of writing to be less ‘set’, less stable and fixed, than they first appear.

Furthermore, the name is a pun on ‘typeset’, the typesetting of a book forming a key part of the established publishing process; it thus alludes to the wider process of publishing as a means of bestowing authority on certain ideas and certain texts, of ‘setting’ them in place. The Type Set is both a part of this process and – through the variety of genre-resistant work displayed across the five titles, as well as through the online expansions of each book on the Beyond Criticism website – a resistance to it. The irony is that the BC Editions series, which seeks neither to impose strict limits on the type of work it publishes, nor to set the always unsettled idea of what ‘creative-criticism’ is, begins with a name which suggests both activities. From its inception, the series is aware of the risks inherent in its own nature.

Design Concepts

While these are not the final designs for the book jackets, we thought we'd make available the design concept brief for the upcoming titles as a way of whetting your appetite for what's to come...

Paperback | Price £12.99
ISBN 978-1-911343-74-5
eBook | Price £5.99
ISBN 978-1-913861-10-0
A Shaken Bible

Steve Hanson

‘We wait for lite, but behold obscurity, look for britenes, but we walk in darknes.’ A tapestry of quotations from the King James Bible, William Blake, Gilgamesh and the works of seventeenth century Ranter Abiezer Cobbe interwoven and translated into Yorkshire dialect, A Shaken Bible revives familiar passages by setting them in playful dialogue with each other. It demonstrates how the scriptures are the fragmented collages they always were and collapses the Alpha and Omega into a Bible of what Gillian Rose termed the broken middle. Steven Hanson defies academic and theological traditions while retaining a strong core of theory, creating a unique blend of classics, criticism, and creative writing.

'... a feast of rich, re-worked, largely seventeenth century English. One might enjoy it simply for the sheer surface sumptuousness of the language, to be dipped into... In its curious, eloquently frustrating, and uncanny way I guess that, to those who have ears to hear, it speaks significant truth.'
Canon Emeritus, Andrew Shanks


Macbeth, Macbeth

Ewan Fernie and Simon Palfrey

 ‘A miracle, an instant classic.’
Slavoj Zizek, philosopher

 The tragedy is done, the tyrant Macbeth dead. The time is free. But for how long? As Macduff pursues dreams of national revival, smaller lives are seeding. In the ruins of Dunsinane, the Porter tries to keep his three young boys safe from the nightmare of history. In a nunnery deep in Birnam Wood, a girl attempts to forget what she lost in war. Flitting between them, a tortured clairvoyant trembles with the knowledge of what's to come. 

 A collaboration between two of the world's most eminent Shakespeare scholars, "Macbeth, Macbeth" is a unique mix of creative fiction and literary criticism that charts a new way of doing both, sparking a whole new world from the embers of Shakespeare's original tragedy. ”Macbeth, Macbeth” weaves a thread that enrichens the original classic with the manic energy of Tristram Shandy, the grim intensity of Crime and Punishment, and the existential absurdity of Waiting for Godot.

 'A thrilling re-imagination of Shakespeares darkest play.'
Lucy Bailey, theatre director

‘Shakespeare, I suspect, would have been delighted.’
Don Paterson, poet

Paperback | Price £12.99
ISBN 978-1-911343-75-2

eBook | Price £5.99
ISBN 978-1-913861-08-7

Paperback | Price £12.99
ISBN 978-1-911343-76-9

eBook | Price £5.99
ISBN 978-1-913861-09-4

The Sick List

Ansgar Allen

'The Sick List operates on the far side of literature.'
John Schad

 In this novel, an unnamed academic in an unnamed contemporary university, relates his obsession with his tutor, Gordon. He pores over the increasingly bizarre mis-readings in Gordon’s annotations in a strange selection of stolen library books. Is Gordon unraveling a mystery? Or is his own mind unraveling? Meanwhile, an epidemic of catatonia breaks out; academics are found slumped and unconscious at their desks. Is reading itself the cause of this sickness? Is the only escape to return to illiteracy?

Witty, moving, and beautifully written, The Sick List plays with the dividing line between deploring and exemplifying what it most despises. Inspired by the work of the Austrian novelist Thomas Bernhard, it considers how the minds of educated people are moulded by both the breadth of literary culture and the narrowness of academic institutions.

 The Sick List is about menace, about a menace (Gordon), and is written in the voice of a menace. It reads like one of the pen-portraits of surreal ultra-violence in Bernhard's Gargoyles, where education turns out to be the most deceitful panacea of all.’
Katharine Craik

Textual Non Sense

Robert Crawford

'Absolutely the most important book of our era.'
Virginia Wool

Textual Non Sense is mischievous, minimalist, and revolutionary: a short fuse intended to spark a fundamental re-thinking of how we engage with notions of canon. Classic texts are mangled, quotes are mis-attributed, and great authors are misidentified as Robert Crawford brings literature and chaos theory together in a romance made on Tinder. William Shakespeare of the School of Literature and Bookmaking introduces a survey of writers' struggles. John Buchan provides his guide to writing a best-seller (blotting paper plays a key role). Professor Mike Foucault employs Big Data to investigate the new discipline, Creaticism', or 'Critive Writing.'

Humour and literary criticism tend to go together like apples and arsenic. Textual Non Sense argues that humour is an essential corrective--a missing ingredient to a cure for the arthritis and calcification of academic literary criticism.

 I just cant wait for the American edition!
Emily Dickinson

Paperback | Price £12.99
ISBN 978-1-911343-78-3

eBook | Price £5.99
ISBN 978-1-913861-10-0

BCE online

Each book will be accompanied by its own new section of the Beyond Criticism website, featuring an online ‘expansion’ or ‘explosion’ of the book. The exact form this will take will differ from book to book, but may include interviews, reflections, responses, rewritings, additional materials cut from earlier drafts, photographs and music – in each case a unique concoction of materials, mixing both inspirations for the book and responses to it.

Get in touch

If you have something you feel might be a fit for BC Editions, please get in contact with Boiler House Press here to discuss your ideas. If you'd like to learn more about our mission first, have a read of our manifesto.