December 12th, 2012

writer

Peering through the Dewey Fog

Somehow I've gone through life thus far without having written a paper on Margaret Mahy, but that's about to change when I give a talk on "The Librarian of Babel"* in Cambridge next month, where I'll be one of four people paying tribute to that most noble of Kiwis. So far the paper remains unwritten, but it has already expanded from its initial Big Bang moment (which sounded very much like: "SQUEEEEE!") and is forming globular galaxies of notes, with names such as Borges, Tycho Brahe and Dewey. A copy of The Catalogue of the Universe (not Mahy's book but the one her book is named after) is waiting for me at the Post Office. From this ferment, I hope, paragraphs and sentences will coagulate in due course, before springing into elliptical orbit around my brain. If you're in Cambridge, why not pop along for a viewing?

By the way, I knew Mahy had a Bristol connection on her father's side, but I've only just discovered that her grandfather grew up in an orphanage here - which, at that date, almost certainly means the Muller Orphanage, in the grounds of which I live. Having never managed to meet Mahy myself, I find this link - tenuous though it be - exceedingly cool.

* I'm trying out the new public link feature in Dropbox - can you please leave a comment if this one doesn't work for you?