Brief notes on apocalypse ~ theatre notes

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Brief notes on apocalypse

The Guardian book blog today runs a short piece in which I reflect on the New Writing Worlds symposium I attended last week. I was staying at the University of East Anglia, which looks like a Dr Who set dropped into the middle of the Norfolk countryside, with a bunch of most interesting writers and poets, both famous (JM Coetzee and CK Williams) and infamous (me). And, like the walrus and the carpenter, we spoke of many things...

Now I'm in Cambridge, ensconced in yet more spectacular 70s architecture at Churchill College, where tonight or tomorrow night I will be heading back to the 17th century and attending a real masque in a hall that is emphatically not British brutalist or modernist scifi, of which I will report here next week. And thence onto London.

4 comments:

Nick said...

I'm in the (procrastinatory) midsts of writing a chapter on W.G. Sebald's Vertigo, including on motifs of catastrophe and salvation. Since he worked there (U. of East Anglia) all of his career, there's some kind of synchronicity going on! Sounds like a great conference...

Alison Croggon said...

Ha! Yes, WG Sebald is God at UEA, and it is very interesting to be in the landscape that he describes at such length... One writer, the nature writer Richard Maby, had the temerity to criticise Sebald's description of the Norfolk countryside in The Rings of Saturn, which Maby claimed was colonialist description. You could hear the UEA feathers bristling at a hundred yards...

margaret d said...

You will disappoint me Alison if you don't while away an hour on the Cam in a punt...(lower minds might think there is an opportunity for word-play there, but not us)

Nick said...

Yes, I can't imagine that would be taken too well at all. Remarkable how much he has been deified (a palindrome!...had never noticed) in recent years. It seems like a new book on him comes out every other week.

I was writing last week on Coetzee as well, so parallels on several fronts.