Inside literary judges’ chambers

The Oxford Literary Festival is underway, and the Times is offering live reports.

Following up on the festival’s TLS event at his own blog, Peter Stothard gives the background on his admission that he’d engaged in “some past ‘literary loutishness’ in promoting my candidate for a literary prize.” The prize was the 1997 Whitbread. The candidate — and winner — was Ted Hughes’ Tales From Ovid.

Stothard prepared his arguments, went into the debate, and

a good deal of shouting began. And continued.

I wasn’t the only shouter.

I wasn’t the only one to make more use of ‘obiter dicta’ than ‘a priori’ when the subject turned to my Latin favourite.

But my own shouting — and abandonment of reasoned argument — seemed shamefully effective.


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