I went to a talk today at UCL - it’s rare that I get to do something like that anymore - and it was literally about Arrested Development. It was really good, in that under-attented, strip-lighting way. My fella does one next week about Twin Peaks, so he was checking out the format. I am just a mad fan of AR, so I ligged along.
It reminded me of something I loved about being in Ithaca; that sweet juxtaposition of the life of the University and my working life in publishing. When I first got to Ithaca I was so up myself about Cornell; pfff, all those people doing science on books, when books actually live in the real world! I thought. I won’t be going up the hill to any of that.
But life in a college town has a way of showing you that the college has a lot to offer, even if you don’t go there. Perhaps it’s slightly a lack of anything much else. It started with the open lectures of the 19th century reading group, followed by the sort of Anne Carson performance/lecture that could never have flown in the real world, and suddenly I was getting it. Universities allow us to investigate the world without commerce. They allow us to investigate commerce! There’s such value in that. I miss being reminded of it on a weekly basis.