September 12th, 2014

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A Fantastic Legacy

It just occurred to me that I forgot to put anything here about the Diana Wynne Jones conference I went to in Newcastle last weekend. I think I was hoping that someone else would do a nice juicy write-up that I could link to, but that doesn't seem to have happened, so suffice it to say that I had a great time. Ursula Jones and Nick Tucker both gave very interesting talks on the first day, with Nick drawing on the mores of the time to question whether the treatment DWJ and her sisters received from their parents was quite as bad, or at least as unusual, as one might imagine from her own accounts; while my favourite part of Ursula's speech was a hilarious story of DWJ (then about 9) "disguising" the 5-year-old Ursula as a six-year-old, so that she could get into a party at the local USAF base.

That was all at Seven Stories, but the second day was at the university, and consisted of some really good academic papers. I've put my own keynote online at Academia.edu, complete with typos, for the benefit of posterity and anyone else with nothing better to read.

I normally feel a little lost at conferences, so it was lovely to be one where I knew almost everybody (and everybody knew me). The secret to being a big fish is clearly to find a small enough pond, but the company in this one was excellent.