Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

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Roald Dahl Centenary Conference, Cardiff University, 16-18th June 2016
This is just a PSA. To quote from the website:

This interdisciplinary international conference, held in the city of Roald Dahl’s birth and childhood in his centenary year, will give further impetus to the substantial critical attention devoted to the author’s work by seeking new ways of understanding his achievement and place in twentieth- and twenty-first-century culture, broadly considered. The emphasis will be on defamiliarizing Dahl in the very act of bringing him ‘home’. Dahl’s work for children and young adults will, naturally, receive robust attention; innovative crossdisciplinary approaches that encounter his writing through the lens of (for example) illustration, adaptation and performance are particularly welcome. Dahl’s output for adult readers will also be a key focus, as will the need to resist the compartmentalization that sees his books for adults and children as separate imaginative entities. The conference will also consider Dahl’s interventions in other disciplines, from education to medicine, together with his manifold, influential legacies (both enabling and contentious). Discussions of Dahl’s various locations of culture, from Wales to Washington, Tanganyika to Buckinghamshire, Norway to New York, are also sought. The conference will offer opportunities for delegates to visit the places of Dahl’s youth, to examine manuscript and visual material from the archive at Great Missenden, and to enjoy dramatic readings and performances of Dahl’s work.


For more details, including the full Call for Papers, see the conference website. Feel free to share.
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If I were to give a paper here, it would be a screed about how neither of the movie adaptations understands Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Same sort of thing I've been saying regarding Tolkien for years.

Feel free to propose a paper! I'll be nodding in the audience.

That's assuming I would be visiting Britain in June just on the impetus of this conference, which is unlikely, especially as I'd have to dart immediately home for another event that I'm organizing.

But your comment assures me that I don't have to give this screed. I only give it on Tolkien because I have to, as so many people are eager to assert the opposite.

If my paper for ChLA is accepted for ChLA I may be in Ohio the previous weekend myself - which, I do realise, isn't next door to you but still a lot closer than here.

In June, whan scholars scrips all marked been,
Than longen clerkes to goon on pilgrimages...

Ohio: yes, that's a long way off from here. In sheer distance, about as far as the Tatar Republic is from you. Not somewhere I'm likely to be dropping by this June. I may be in Michigan in March, about as close to where you'll be as you are from, say, Leeds.

Columbus. If you want to try good American barbecue (and I really doubt there's anything worthy of the name masquerading by it in Britain), there's a branch of the Montgomery Inn in Columbus, but it's out in the suburbs and may be hard to get to.

We can use barbecues about as often as we can drive convertibles with the top down, i.e. about six times a year. I suspect that even when we do, the barbecue traditions we follow are Australian rather than American. Having said that, I love barbecued food, and if you recommend Montgomery Inn I'll certainly try to check it out.

As any true connoisseur of barbecue will tell you, at much greater length and more tediously than I will, the thing you set up in your back yard is a grill, not actually a barbecue, and grilling is an entirely different cooking technique than barbecue, which is a form of slow cooking over indirect heat.

But even grilling is an American thing. I once went to a backyard picnic with a grill in Britain. It was in Scotland in August, and it rained. (My hosts seemed surprised, but what did they expect?) The food was ... not quite like home.

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