La Haine du Théâtre

I spent three very enjoyable days at the Sorbonne last week at a conference held as part of the Haine du théâtre (The Hatred of the Theatre) project. I was going to write up my thoughts immediately afterwards, but than came down with some horrible digestive disease, hence this delayed and probably less accurate account.

Summing up three days and over thirty papers isn’t really possible. So I’ll divide this post into three sections. First, a passage on some of the most interesting points I heard over the course of the event. Second, a few observations of my own about theatre-hating. Third, a general conclusion about speaking and listening at conferences. Continue reading La Haine du Théâtre

John Barton, Playing Shakespeare

About four or five months ago, I picked up John Barton’s Playing Shakespeare in one of Cambridge’s second-hand bookshops. It’s been sitting on various shelves ever since, but a recent long train journey gave me the time to sit down and read it. The book is based off a TV series of the same name Barton did with the Royal Shakespeare Company in the 1980s, and has the aim of offering a ‘practical’ guide to performing Shakespeare. Although entering its fourth decade, the book is still popular now, and I enjoyed working my way through its chapters. Continue reading John Barton, Playing Shakespeare

The Abstract and (not so) Brief Chronicles of Lichtenberg

It’s been a rather painful process, but I have finally read Georg Christoph Lichtenberg’s Briefe aus England in their original German. Although the lack of available translations forced my hand, I’m glad that I spent some time on this: not only has my German improved because of it, but I also – I suspect – paid far greater attention to the text than I would have done so otherwise. Continue reading The Abstract and (not so) Brief Chronicles of Lichtenberg

Missed Chances

Prospero and Ariel with Miranda sleeping, by William Hamilton (1797)

Again, I’m going to start this blog-post with an apology. My latest lack of publications is the result of devoting all my spare time and energy to the writing of a great many applications for post-doctoral positions. Those same applications have, however, inspired this little text, so it’s not all bad news.

I want to write today about three kinds of missed opportunities. The topic came to me when I discovered that, by waiting till late August to start applying for jobs, I had already missed three or four Junior Research Fellowship deadlines in Oxford and Cambridge. I’ll be quicker on my toes next year, as my efforts in this cycle, running parallel to the writing up of my thesis, are very much a test run. Along with these missed deadlines, there was also one post advertised at Hertford College, Oxford, which – sadly – starts in January 2015, just 6 or 8 months too early for me. The job was a combined research fellowship / outreach officer position, which (no false modesty here) I would have been perfect for. Whichever lucky person does get in this year will stay until 2018, so there’s no hope for me. Continue reading Missed Chances