Nick Bentley joins Laurie Taylor on Radio 4

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Posted on 02 January 2017

On 2 January 2017, Dr Nick Bentley appeared on 'Thinking Allowed' with Laurie Taylor discussing his research on fiction of the 1950s and working-class writing.

Below is a synopsis of the programme from the BBC website:

What is the relationship between literature and sociology? Laurie Taylor discusses fiction and the real world with crime writer Denise Mina, criminologist Dick Hobbs and English literature lecturer Nick Bentley. 

From Charles Dickens' "Oliver" to Alan Sillitoe's "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning", literary descriptions of the social world - and working-class life in particular - have often been called "realistic". But how has 'real life' been misrepresented by scholars and novelists alike? Can ethnography produce fictions of its own? And what skills are vital for any writer who wants to capture the complexity of everyday life?

Plus, is it really true, as WH Auden once suggested, that "poetry makes nothing happen"? Laurie and guests discuss the influence of literature and sociology on attitudes and policy, reflecting on how both can make a meaningful impact.

Producer: Alice Bloch 

The programme is available as a podcast: