The Clerk of Oxford is a character in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales who is most remembered for being poor because (a) he is a student, and (b) he spends all of what little money he has on new books. I too am a student, and while I spread my spending around between books, video games, movies, and the occasional television series, I find that with every passing year the Clerk and I have more in common than either of us would like to admit (though he remains strangely quiet on the issue).

I purposefully will not read any other reviews before I write my own, so I can provide my readers with an unfiltered version of what I think. And, although this is somewhat of a pet project of mine, I welcome feedback and requests for review subjects. If you’d like to contact me for any reason, hop on over to the Contact page, and give me a shout. Thanks for stopping by, and if you like what you read, please spread the word!

 – The Clerk

16299544_10101994023966986_6997052924481112567_nThe Contemporary Clerk is run by the Clerk himself,  J. Andrew Gothard, who is currently earning his Ph.D. from the University of Miami, where he will soon defend a dissertation on early twentieth century British working class fiction entitled “A Hard Life’s Work: Social Memory and the British Working Class Novel, 1900-1920.” He is an internationally published scholar in such areas as working class studies, modern film and drama, and the novel. He has also published academic book reviews with Joseph Conrad Today, and he has served as a managing editor for the James Joyce Literary Supplement, as well as a consulting editor for Rivista di Studi Americani.

The Clerk’s current projects include a short story collection about life aboard the first generation ship, literary and philosophical essays, and stuffing his apartment with as many books as is physically possible.

Articles and Book Chapters:

“Through the Looking Glass: Stanley Kubrick and Narratology.” Critical Insights: Stanley Kubrick. Ed. Peter J. Bailey. Ipswich, MA: Salem Press, 2016. 59-72.

“That Thing on the Shelf: The Book as Artifact in Novels by Patrick MacGill and Pádraic Ó Conaire.” New Hibernia Review 20.1 (2016): 105-120.

“‘Who’s He When He’s at Home?’: A Census of Woody Allen’s Literary, Philosophical, and Artistic Allusions.” A Companion to Woody Allen. Eds. Peter J. Bailey and Sam B. Girgus. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013. 381-403.

“‘Your Immediate Superior in Madness’: Orton’s What the Butler Saw and Foucault’s Madness and Civilization.” Text and Presentation, 2012. Ed. Graley Herren. The Comparative Drama Conference Series 9. New Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2012. 50-64.


“Knowing the Unknowable.” Rev. of Real Mysteries: Narrative and the Unknowable by Henry Porter Abbott. Joseph Conrad Today 41.2 (Fall 2016): 14-17.

Lord Jim.” Rev. of The Cambridge Edition of Lord Jim, eds. J.H. Stape and Ernest W. Sullivan, II. Joseph Conrad Today 40.1 (Spring 2015): 8-11.