Brookes Spring Symposium

There’s no day quite like a Brookes Postgraduate Symposium day. Nine papers on widely disparate subjects (It would have been ten, but for IT difficulties). You finish the day with a brain full of French actresses and Zulus and feminist photographers and Catholic saints…

And I’ve learnt a lesson. I thought that condensing a chunk of thesis into a 20 minute paper would be easier than writing a paper from scratch. Not so. I spent a glum day chopping out bits I was rather fond of, and I still wasn’t really happy with it in the end. Still, hearing myself speak the paper has given me a sense of how to improve it before the Middlebrow conference at Sheffield. It’s about Richard Blaker, who wrote Medal Without Bar, and charts his progress through the 1920s when he churned out novel after novel and never found commercial success.


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