But I'll say a few words about my panels, which were illuminating and entertaining (for me, at least).
|Men talk about happiness, Perth 22/2/13|
Oliver and Geoff were far more informed about happiness than I, but we all agreed that chasing it doggedly is a fool's quest.
The chat was hosted by Late Night Live host Phillip Adams, who interviewed me recently about Philosophy in the Garden. You can listen to the session on 'happiness' on ABC Radio National on Thursday 7th March, 10pm (or as a podcast).
I also spoke on a panel with poet David Morley and novelist Stephen Scourfield: 'Landscapes of the Imagination'. This was a blast. As I write in the Western Australian, David and Stephen are erudite and sensitive devotees of the landscape, and it was a real pleasure to listen to their words and reflections.
I also visited Christ Church Grammar School, where I gave a short tutorial on Nietzsche to some very bright (and enormous) high school students.
After years of correspondence (between Melbourne and London then Melbourne and Brisbane), I met novelist Susan Johnson, though far too briefly. (Next time, Susan, in
I also had a good long conversation, over a take-away cuppa, with fellow philosopher Tim Soutphommasane.
Chatting to James Meek was a pleasure, too, after reading his fine London Review of Books journalism. (I've just begun his new novel, The Heart Broke In.)
Anita Heiss tells me I jogged past her on the Swan river. (I was, like, totally in the zone.)
|Mr. Cthulhu, the Swan river jellyfish|
The kids complained regularly and loudly about the Perth water, which was chalky. (I didn't mind, as long as it was copious and cold.)
|Goofy but wet and happy|
The kids also had a ball, being pummelled by the waves, coughing up a lung, then yelling (over the noise of the surf) for more.
|Yapping at the |
I gave a reading last night at the Castlemaine Library, 'Emily Dickinson: The acres of perhaps', from Philosophy in the Garden.
The audience had some excellent comments and questions, including notes on Dickinson's room in Amherst, and the origins of Dickinson's privative behaviour. (I also answered this for The Velvet Nap.)
I failed to answer one question, on Dickinson and epilepsy. Instead, I spoke about writers' use of ailments (real and imagined) to gain solitude. It's a good question, and biographer Lyndall Gordon's take is here. Sometimes I get distracted..
|Sophia drawing with her|
|Nikos climbing with his|
I also met writer Julia Stirling, a Castlemaine local, and we chatted about the craft and business of writing--Julia told me Brett Whiteley referred to art as "a difficult pleasure".