Archive for June, 2009

Philip Pullman’s Oxford Honorary Degree Citation

June 27th, 2009

Quas res melius aliis gentibus gesserunt Britanni? Neque in sphaeristica, ut puto, neque in coquina neque in fabulis musicis fingendis omnibus antecellunt. Sed si fabulas ad puerorum delectationem inventas examinaverimus, adfirmare fortasse audebimus nullum esse populum quem ea in arte non superaverimus. Praeterea, magna pars eorum qui libros pueris optime scripserunt Oxoniam nostram habitavit; plerique in hac universitate studuerunt atque docuerunt. Tamesis prope ripam Grahameius ventum inter salices susurrantem audivit; qui etiam hac in urbe est sepultus. Oxoniae Alicia terram mirabilium intravit; Oxoniae gens hobbitorum nata est; Oxoniae porta ad Narniam est aperta. At hic quem nunc produco hunc ipsum locum vel maioribus laudibus ornavit, quippe qui in suis fabulis Oxoniam lepide descripserit et, ut ita dicam, dramatis sui personam fecerit.

Primus Carolus Kingsley, ut videtur, cum de infantibus aquaticis scriberet, id genus fabulae invenit quod puerum vel pueros in alium mundum transfert et aliquando in nostrum rursus reducit. Quem secutus est Ludovicus Carolus, ubi Aliciam ad terram mirabilium et per speculum misit, postea etiam is qui de Petro Pane scripsit, mox Clivus Lewis, denique hic quem hodie videmus. Hoc tamen modo ab aliis differt, quod mundo illo ficto ad naturam animi humani scrutandam usus est. Socrates quidem daemonis se monitu saepe corrigi credidit; hic daemona unumquemque hominem, sive iuvenis sit sive senex, manifeste comitari fingens, arcana indolis et ingenii nostri in apertum protrahit. Itaque cum puerulos delectat innumerabiles, tum lectores adultos alicit atque arrigit. Quare ut Horatius Romanae se lyrae fidicinem vocavit, ita nos Lyrae Oxoniensis cantorem salutemus.

Praesento textorem fabularum sollertissimum, Philippum Nicolaum Outram Pullman, Excellentissimi Ordinis Britannici Commendatorem, Collegii Exoniensis et alumnum et socium honoris causa adscriptum, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum Doctoris in Litteris.

[over the fold for the translation]

(more…)

Public Service Announcement

June 26th, 2009

My friend Josh Cherniss has asked me to advertise the forthcoming conference on Isaiah Berlin at Harvard, featuring Svetlana Boym, Ioannis Evrigenis, Peter Eli Gordon, Malachi Hacohen, Stanley Hoffmann, Erin Kelly, Janos Kis, Pratap Mehta (hooray!), Louis Menand, Martha Nussbaum, Nancy Rosenblum, Emma Rothschild, Alan Ryan, T.M. Scanlon, Amartya Sen, Michael Walzer and Bernard Yack.

It’s on 25 and 26 September later this year in the Tsai Auditorium in the CGIS building, 1730 Cambridge St, Cambridge MA 02138, USA. And, this being the twenty-first century and all, the conference even has its own blogsite.

Recently Dead Socialist Watch

June 23rd, 2009

As ejh observes in comments below, John Saville has died. Obituary by Eric Hobsbawm (another ejh) in tehgraun over here. The Dictionary of Labour Biography is still going strong, and now runs to 12 volumes.

Just Dead Sociologist Watch

June 19th, 2009

Giovanni Arrighi, RIP.

George Osborne ha ha ha

June 18th, 2009

Over here.

Bloomsday Greetings!

June 16th, 2009

lg_bloomsday_03

Just Dead Socialist Watch

June 16th, 2009

Peter Gowan, author of The Global Gamble and regular contributor to the New Left Review, died on Friday. A brief report is here, and a statement from his family here.

Harold Norse, RIP

June 13th, 2009

I’ve just heard the sad (but not unexpected news) that the beat poet Harold Norse has died aged 92. I spent the Summer of 1999 living in an apartment on Albion St in San Francisco’s Mission District, Harold lived around the same building, and we’d run into him from time to time when he was collecting his post.

Just Dead Socialist Watch

June 8th, 2009

Peter Townsend, who devoted his life to understanding and fighting poverty, died yesterday. There’s a tribute over here.

O Frabjous Day! Caloo! Calay!

June 3rd, 2009

Blears resigns!

biannual

biannual