Friday, 24 February 2012

Relating Cultures at the LSE with Meg Rosoff, William Fiennes and Caroline Bird

A splendiferous event last night at the LSE, in the elegant Lincoln's Inn Fields (where once I toiled, briefly, at the start of a legal career that never materialised.) We were celebrating the winners of an LSE / First Story competition, which resulted in a brilliant anthology called Relating Cultures, to which I have written an introduction. They are all good pieces and contain some fascinating voices. The future of writing looks well.

I spoke about the historical and literary context of fantasy; Meg Rosoff gave a list of incredible facts - did you know, for instance, that if the sun were made of bananas it would be as hot? My favourite is that Charlie Chaplin once came third in a Charlie Chaplin lookalike competition. Poet Caroline Bird recited one of her works, about a fairy who longs to be loved; and Will Fiennes spoke passionately about the need to ground one's fantasy into reality. There were some brilliant questions from the crowd, too.

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