steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

The Academic who Came in from the Cold

I wibbled and wobbled my way over the ice to Bristol Parkway yesterday morning for my trip to Cambridge. I know they said essential travel only, but I'd been asked to tell the world about Margaret Mahy, and what could be more essential than that? I had a splendid time, in fact, seeing faces old and new, exploring Homerton College (which I used to walk past every day on the way to work, but had never entered), and listening to much Mahy chat. I finally got to meet altariel in the flesh after many years, as well as fjm and quite a few friends who unaccountably don't have Livejournals. The name of gair was much mentioned, though - by altariel, of course, but it turned out that my co-speaker had just supervised one of her students' thesis, while the organizer knew her from (I think) the classics world, as well as well as being a fellow emigrée to Australia. Said organizer had also attended Brandeis and been taught by nightspore. ("Small world!" says Prof. Zapp.) Anyway, I was able to bring the good news about Mahy, Borges and Librarianship from the Avon to the Cam without too many mishaps, before striking out across the fens to spend the night in Littleport.

In my absence from the Internet (though not, I trust, because of it) the whole Burchill row and its after-rumblings seem to have died down, happily. However, on the train I did find myself reflecting on a couple of broader points that have come out of it - not so much about the particular issues as the kinds of argument that have been used. When I get a chance, I shall type them up here.
Tags: books, real life
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