Upcoming Events

I’ve got a few events coming up over the next couple of months, including a couple of festivals. So next Saturday, I’ll be at the Lowdham Book Festival to talk about novels and novel-writing (the programme is here, with a rather out-of-date mugshot). This is Saturday 28th from 11am – 12pm, in Lowdham village hall. The Saturday is a full day of free events, so do come along and drop in.

Then in July, I’m doing a children’s event on writing and Snorghs at the Frome festival, as well as an adults’ event on moomins and philosophy, bringing a bit of Moominsummer Madness to Frome. These are both on the 4th of July. Here’s an article from the Somerset Guardian about these events.

There are a few more things coming up over the summer as well, so I’ll post here again when I have these confirmed.

In the Moominhouse

Just a quick post this, to round off the year. I’m busy at the moment trying to get a book chapter finished by the first of January. It is about Moomins, flat ontology, Levinas, and other important matters of the day; and if it is taking longer than I had hoped, it is partly because I’m finding some rich philosophical seams to mine. Anyway, the deadline is looming, and it would be good not to start 2014 with a missed deadline, so at the moment I’m holed up with the cat and a pot of coffee,  ploughing through [amazon_link id=”0820702455″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Totality and Infinity[/amazon_link], [amazon_link id=”0140305025″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Moominland Midwinter[/amazon_link] and other great philosophical classics.  Read more

Knowledge and Friendship at the End of the World

The following post was first published on the old version of WillBuckingham.com. From time to time, I’ll be republishing essays that disappeared from my old website when I switched over from Textpattern to WordPress a year or so back. The post had its origins in a paper that I gave at a conference on the apocalypse in literature at Westminster University in 2011.

When it comes to the ways that we think about the apocalypse, we are often inclined to moralise the end of the world. From Noah’s flood, to zombie apocalypses caused by the hubris of scientists, to the various kinds of environmental disasters that may or may not face us, our stories about the end of the world often have the distinct air of moral retribution for past misdemeanours. But there are certain kinds of apocalypse – amongst which can be numbered apocalypse by comet – that have nothing to do with blame and responsibility, nothing to do with how virtuous we are or not. These are endings that simply are, or at least that might be. Read more

In Praise of the Moomins

I am writing this somewhere on the ferry between Stockholm and Turku; and as I look out of the window at the grey sea and the rocky little outcrops of Åland, I find it all seems strangely familiar, as if I have seen it somewhere before. And, in a way, I have; because these are the seas that I navigated again and again in my childhood imagination, in the company of Moominpappa and Moomintroll and Snufkin, whilst reading those incomparably strange and wonderful [amazon_link id=”0140306099″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]children’s books[/amazon_link] by Tove Jansson.

These are the seas with islands so small and remote and strange that they might seem like bits of fly-dirt on the map; seas where chilly and lonely Grokes pursue distant boats with paraffin lamps at the head of the mast, glowing in the night; tiny harbours where small, solitary creatures crawl secretly underneath the tarpaulins of tied-up boats, to fall asleep and dream. And it feels like a pilgrimage of sorts to come here, and to watch out at the cormorants scudding over the waves, and to look across the countless islands towards the distant horizon. Read more

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