Thursday, 3rd November (Cambridge)

An accidental focus on listening today.

1. I’ve never felt able to take out full membership of the Stephen Fry fan club, which says more about me than it does about him, I’m sure. Nonetheless, Cross prejudice notwithstanding, here’s the Babel lecture he gave earlier this year on language, ‘What we have here is a failure to communicate’

2. The T S Eliot Prize is the UK’s biggest poetry prize, and in the build-up to this year’s prize being awarded, interviews, readings and reading notes from all ten poets shortlisted are being posted on their website

Videos of poets reading their poems can also be found on their YouTube channel

and here’s three poems by Victoria Adukwei Bulley that haven’t made it to the website just yet:

‘Dreaming is a Form of Knowledge Production’,

‘Whose Name Means Honey’

and – my favourite – ‘The Ultra-Black Fish’

And here’s Victoria talking about her work

3. Here’s ‘Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and the timely pleasures of reading’ from Andrew King of the University of Greenwich

“This video,” says Andrew, “discusses Agatha Christie’s first major success The Murder of Roger Ackroyd through the methodology outlined elsewhere in  the Greenwich Detective Fiction series on YouTube. Rather than repeat the usual kinds of readings that are so easy to find elsewhere, I cover a lot of unexpected ground starting with how the novel and Christie’s work in general is locked into the business of making money (and before you get enraged, no, I’m not criticising her), to the relevance of opera (especially Debussy’s Pelleas et Melisande)  and WW1 and changing conceptions of masculinity and femininity. Above all though, I’m concerned to explore how time works in reading this novel, and also  Agatha Christie’s own interest in how time might be conceived.”

Give Andrew’s ‘unexpected ground’ a go?

4. And, finally and athletically, a new podcast on leading Ukrainian football club Shakhtar Donetsk as they compete against the world’s best teams despite being unable to play at home in their own stadium. Here’s the trailer Not just for football fans!

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