Thursday, June 25, 2009

Conference summary

Captain Ahab, also traveling abroad at a conference, passes on this quote from David Lodges. Yeah, this is pretty much where I'm at right now:
But the real source of depression, as the conferees gathered for the sherry, and squinted at the little white cardboard lapel badges on which each person's name, and university, were neatly printed, was the paucity and, it must be said, the generally undistinguished quality of their numbers. Within a very short time they had established that none of the stars of the profession was in residence--no one, indeed, whom it would be worth traveling ten miles to meet, let alone the hundreds that many had covered...Long before it was all over they would have sickened of each other's company, exhausted all topics of conversation, used up all congenial seating arrangements at table, and succumbed to the familiar conference syndrome of bad breath, coated tongue and persistent headache, that came from smoking, drinking and talking five times as much as normal.