Thursday, 3 January 2008

In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg

In Our Time is another of those 'only on radio 4' programmes. It is so intellectually brain-scrambling that I usually turn it off part way through, with no real idea of the intricacies of the scientific or philosophical absurdities which are being deconstructed. Melvyn B. himself usually has a frighteningly impressive ability to grasp and wrestle with each week's subject.

But on hearing the introduction to today's programme, I recognised the name of one of my University professors, and decided to have a go at following the debate.

It was about Albert Camus, whose literature I had been taught by that very same professor, and I am pleased to report that once my brain had woken up and remembered that it is capable of actual thinking, I followed the discussion with interest, comprehension and not a little nostalgia.

I studied l'├ętranger 3 times, firstly at A-level, where i am sure it is popular with tutors taking advantage of the fact that because it is written in the 1st person, they don't have to teach the past historic tense on top of everything else. But In Our Time this morning reminded me that as well as being not too technically or linguistically challenging a text, it also has much literary and philosophical merit.

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