Two new highlights

Almost done with the reading list and the programme for my course. And I may have found one of the best articles in weeks. The title alone is worth quoting in full: Story Matters: Story and its Concept in Tolkien and Pratchett” by Margarida McMurry. (Source: “Collision of Realities: Establishing Research on the Fantastic in Europe”)

Yup, this might prove to be another key text for my thesis. Barely ten pages in length but filled with so much premise and promise that I’ll have to reread it and chase its sources down dark alleys until I have them all cornered.

This, and Kevin Paul Smith’s “Battling the Nightmare of Myth, Terry Pratchett’s Fairytale Inversions” (Source: “The Postmodern Fairytale: Folkloric Intertexts in Contemporary Fiction”) are the two new highlights in my recent research.

Onwards to new texts!


Penny for the Guy?

And back again. The conference was a smashing success, geeky and slightly wonky but also filled with too many excellent papers and panels. People were generally amazed by my coming over from Europe just for Mythcon and a week in New England – but hey, I got to meet academics from North and South and East and West, so it was basically a bit of all the US condensed into a campus!

I guess what I enjoyed most was the annoyingly curious attitude of American smalltalk. People don’t wait and think of possible topics that could be used in conversation, they just start talking to you and ask who you are and where your funny accent is coming from. A refreshing change from some of the stop-and-go conversations that characterise the middle of Europe.

Anyhow, I am now catching up with what I thought I had left behind (e.g. PhD, teaching, generally administrative matters) and do hope that my university will pay for at least some of my expenses during the trip. I will of course pay for hotels and my week o’fun in Providence and Boston, but I’d be glad to be compensated for Mythcon costs and my 100-dollar taxi ride from the airport to campus…