Saturday, 11 June 2011

Thank goodness it's the Weekend!


This isn't quite a Weekend Miscellany, since it's more a cheer of joy that this week is over! For this week, on consecutive days, I gave my first lecture and my first conference paper. Both went well, and the Oxford University English Graduate Conference was actually surprisingly fun - very relaxed and friendly; not scary and full of career-driven people as I'd feared it might be. And it came with a keynote speech from Penelope Lively about reading and writing and memory etc. It was deliciously wonderful - a bit like Howards End is on the Landing turned into a talk, albeit from a different author - and I'm keen to rectify my lack of Lively reading.

Oh, in case you were wondering - my lecture was on genre and reception theory, for first-year undergraduates; my conference paper was entitled '"If it were less, it would be gossip - if it were more, it would be genius": Placing the Middlebrow and the Middlebrow Place 1918-1939' - people seemed appreciative, and there were lots of fascinating talks given during the day.

So, since a week's worth of nervous energy has left me exhausted (some people take these things in their stride, I'm sure, but I am not one of them) I am retiring to bed - and will just give you three links to reviews which have come up on other blogs this week, since they're all wonderful thoughts about some of my favourite books.

- Thomas (My Porch) reads his first Tove Jansson short story collection, Travelling Light

- Daniel (Hiberian Homme) finally reads the wonderful Diary of a Provincial Lady

- Claire (Captive Reader) experiences the bookish joy that is Howards End is on the Landing

Hope you're having a good weekend - I'll be spending a lot of mine asleep!

14 comments:

  1. The conference sounds fun and your paper title is wonderfully intriguing. I've loved what Penelope Lively books I've read (Consequences, Making It Up, Family Album)and can't imagine what a treat it would have been hear her speak - and about books and reading, no less! I shall just have to hope that she will decide to commit those thoughts to paper some day soon!

    Thanks for including me in your links for the week!

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  2. Very glad it all went so well. Perhaps you should post your conference paper on here! Sounds great. And hopefully you will love Penelope LIvely.

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  3. Wonderful title for a talk, Simon! Sure you wre great.

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  4. I'm sure your audience was riveted! Speaking in front of a crowd is not for everyone so well done you and your topic would have been such an interesting one.

    With so many events being live streamed these days perhaps we'll eventually get to see you in action!

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  5. I'd be interested to read your conference paper too. It sounds fascinating.

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  6. Oh well done Simon! Congratulations - quite a milestone! I can just imagine your relief at getting that first one behind your belt. I wish I could have heard your lecture! Do you have notes we could see?

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  7. Well done Simon! That must have been nerve wracking but you pulled through! Enjoy the snoozing.

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  8. Congrats on the conference! glad it went off well.

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  9. It sounds like you passed a couple of milestones this week. Congrats, Simon!

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  10. Congratulations on your achievements this week. But when do you get to start making undergraduates pick up your laundry and help you lift heavy furniture and stuff?

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  11. You deserve a weekend of sleep it sounds like.

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  12. Congrats Simon. Take a well deserved rest. Penelope Livery sounds like a very interesting speaker.
    Helen Tilston

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  13. I, too, would love to read your paper. Will the conference post them online?

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  14. Congratualtions Simon! Well Done.

    And such an honor that someone giving lectures at Oxford would include my lowly blog to your lovely one! Thank you!!! You really made my weekend!

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