Lots of good debate around the blogs about Blogging the Classics here, here, here, and probably elsewhere too.
One point made by John Carey has stayed in my mind; how valuable and insightful it would have been had we had a record of the voice of the 18th and 19th centuries or even earlier and how important it will become to future generations to have the voice that bloggers, amongst others, are offering now.
Whilst up in Oxford I met Simon from Stuck in a Book for lunch which was a real pleasure, and thanks to Mary Cavanagh went to do an inspection at Mostly Books in Abingdon, the most brilliant and friendly of bookshops and more on that soon.
But now I've come down from being up at Oxford.
I was entertained most kindly apres tent event by Other Stories and friends.
Academic Friend of Other Stories very kindly, and above and beyond the call of duty, offered to walk back to Corpus Christi College with me where I was staying. Oxford in daylight with my glasses and a map is manageable,Oxford at 11.30pm was likely to be impossible.We chatted away as we walked and I asked A.F. all about her PhD on Irish Literature.
I'm so pleased that all Oxford colleges look the same to Oxford residents too because as we halted outside the door of Corpus Christi there was a problem. The main door was ancient and massive with a little entrance door within which was locked but it was OK because I had a key, except there was no keyhole. There really was no keyhole and short of standing on A.F.'s shoulders to check the upper levels we couldn't see one anywhere.
We did a bit of knocking and coo-eeeing and bell ringing to no avail and A.F. even got the number of the lodge and rang them on her mobile, still no reply. By this time I'm regretting having drunk about three pints of lime and soda, noting that my renal system has performed its task with rapid efficiency.
This was all a mystery fit for Inspector Morse and I was also suddenly recalling all those fictional Oxford murders as I contemplated a night out on the pavement. Eventually it was decided, with great shared intelligence, that we'd just walk up and down Merton Street until we found a keyhole that fitted my key and it was sometime and several colleges later that we realised we'd actually been trying to get into Merton College with the key to Corpus Christi, but of course there are no signs to tell you that.
The hug that A.F. and I gave each other in farewell was out of all proportion to the fact that we'd only met about an hour before but the relief was palpable, what would she have done with a homeless blogger ? With that my need was pressing and I dashed off because I still had to find my staircase and negotiate it.
My sincere thanks to A.F. for being there. Later the next day some American tourists stopped and asked me which college was Merton; as if I'd lived there all my life I confidently pointed to that one in the picture, hoping I was right, or at least close.
And talking of Morse, yes you guessed, it was entirely my pleasure to have lunch with the Oxford Writer's Group and their great supporter Colin Dexter, the author of Morse, at The Trout on Monday.
More about that soon but here's the proof.
I think we'll just give in and write this whole week over to Oxford and book thoughts will be back next week as will that thing called work.
I took a secret stroll behind the walls of Corpus Christi and some lovely pictures, and my thoughts to follow on that peaceful and secluded world, usually hidden from sight. Plus there is a special birthday to celebrate on Saturday and someone, not wishing to be upstaged by a Jane Austen sequel, has offered signed copies of his book for a prize draw.
Rocky will be busy and insufferable yet again.