Moonlighting in the Museum

Just a quick update to post a link to a paper that’s just been published online in the Museological Review. I’ve been moonlighting a little bit in the world of museums, thanks to Museoscope‘s Elee Kirk, and we decided to collaborate on a paper last year that tied together Calvino’s Invisible Cities and empirical work on children’s experiences of museums. Our main drift is that the utopian quality of museums is often personal and intimate, to the extent that it eludes capture as ‘data’, and that this matters for the way that museums might go about—in an increasingly instrumentalised age—arguing the case for what they do.

The paper can be found here, or get the whole journal here.

Philosophers and Dinner Dates

My goodness, two posts in two days… But don’t assume that this is going to be the way of things from here on in: I just thought I’d post to say that there’s a little interview with me over on the Bloomsbury philosophy blog, about Levinas, philosophy, which philosopher I’d like to have over for dinner, and my forthcoming book [amazon_link id=”1441124152″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Levinas, Storytelling and Anti-Storytelling[/amazon_link]. It’s a chatty, breezy kind of interview. There’s an extract below the fold: Read more

Interview on Bloomsbury Blog

My [amazon_link id=”1441124152″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]book on Levinas and storytelling[/amazon_link] is due out in a couple of weeks (on Valentine’s day, no less — the ideal gift for that significant Other in your life…); and so here, in advance of the book’s publication, is a quick interview about the book, about creative reading, and about the tricksy problems of inviting philosophers over for dinner. Click the link here to go to the interview.

The Rhetoric of Urgency

Back in the days when I was a more assiduous Buddhist meditator than I am today, I frequently came across the old, and well-known, Zen saying that you should meditate as if your hair was on fire. As with many such sayings, it is not really clear where this piece of curious advice comes from (although I’d be happy if any readers of this blog, more knowledgable than I, could let me know); but at the time, the saying rather appealed to me. However, as time has gone on, I have become less sure about it.

More recently, I’ve been thinking a bit about the rhetoric of urgency that appears in Buddhism. So, for example, the traditional Buddhist retreat is often infused throughout with this burning sense of urgency. You get up at some unholy hour (three o’clock for the hard-core, six for the spiritually lax), wash (in cold water for the truly serious) and dress, then you sit for an hour or two on your meditation cushions, before you’ve even had a chance to have breakfast. Read more

BCI Literature and Music Evening

Another brief post about the up-coming event at the Bulgarian Cultural Institute on the 15th February. The full details can be found on the poster attached below. There’s no admission cost, but guests are invited to make a small donation to the BCI on the night.

The evening will also feature music for piano (played by the excellent Lydia Hind), and also for guitar (played by myself!). There’s an invite/poster in PDF format that you can download here. All welcome on the night, but if you want to be absolutely certain of securing a ticket, then do contact the BCI at the contact details below.


The Descent of the Lyre


Reading and Music Evening at the BCI, 15th February

Courbet Guitar
Guitarist, by Gustave Courbet (1819–1877). Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

This is just a quick post to point visitors to some information about the up-coming event I’m planning at the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in London, where on the 15th February I’ll be reading from and discussing my novel, [amazon_link id=”9380905076″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Descent of the Lyre[/amazon_link], and playing some music for the classical guitar — a mixture of pieces by Fernando Sor and arrangements of Bulgarian folk tunes. It should be a fun evening, all are welcome, and you can find more information on my events page.


Just a quick update to apologise to anybody who has been having trouble commenting on this site. Although sleek and elegant, I was finding that the comments system that I was using was not working for any other users of the site. So I have reverted to a less sleek and less elegant solution, which (I hope) should work. Apologies for any trouble caused!


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