Sunday, November 20, 2016

Think West and Word For Word festivals 2016

A vanity of Damons: a display at VU Footscray's TSOL pop-up
A couple of western adventures...

Last weekend I tripped off to Footscray to run an "Art of Reading" workshop at Newport Community Hub, part of the new Think West Festival.

I gave a couple of lectures on reading and its virtues, then we examined two texts -- from Henry James and Jorge Luis Borges -- in light of these. Some excellent conversation about varieties of patience and curiosity. For example, some believed Borges was genuinely curious, others curious but narrow (he rarely read women), and others still who believed narrow curiosity was not curiosity at all.
"And you get a virtue, and you get a virtue, virtues for everyone..."
Then off to Victoria University Footscray, where I first indulged in a glorious kebab, dip (cacik and chilli), pide and salad.

How the west was won: noshing like a champion
Fuelled by grilled meat and very black coffee, I then read My Sister is a Superhero.

The expanding family: Pop, Sister, Nanna, at The School of Life, VU Footscray
Today I took an early train to Geelong for the Word For Word nonfiction festival, in Geelong's striking domed Library and Heritage Centre.

Geelong Library's Sue Noonan hosted a conversation about The Art of Reading with me and Shirley Bateman, from the Melbourne City Library Service. It was a great, wide-ranging chat, which touched on ideas from my book, but also reflected more generally about reading in a "post-fact" era, the conceit of popular political discourse, and more. It was fascinating to hear about Shirley's curation of the new Melbourne libraries, including Docklands.

Three bibiliophiles and a microphone stand: SB, DY, SN
Thanks very much to the Think West and Word For Word teams for their enthusiasm and administrative yakka.

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