Chestnuts

Term has just finished. It’s been a busy year, what with moving house and starting to teach things I haven’t taught for a while. Summer was a pleasingly low-key affair and the new term has whizzed by. I gave a couple of papers – one on rhetoric and ethics (a theme I’m going to expand on later) in Bergen, Norway and the other was a reworking of the paper I gave in Bath earlier in the year on enjoyment (ie on Lacan and rhetoric), this time for the Oratory and Politics group at Glasgow University (where I haven’t been since I had a head of hair). Whereas the first was delivered to people working on quite practical matters of international development and policy (at the Chr. Michelsson Institute), the second was to classicists. Each was, in its own way, a delight. I met some very interesting (and, frankly, tolerant) people who permitted my theoretical detours. On return I was back into marking and teaching and meetings and the usual intensifying workload of mid-term academic life. But I’m working on a thing on Marx’s rhetoric just now, which extends work I did a year or so ago on the Communist Manifesto. Marx is a pleasure to read: a merciless critic and a sizzling polemicist. So it’s a Christmas spent working (again) before the rush of essay marking comes my way. Fingers crossed for joyful tidings in the new year. Have a merry one!

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