A friend of mine, David Gurteen, introduced me to the ideas of Theodore Zeldin a number of years ago. Intrigued by his web site The Oxford Muse, I then read his (short) book ‘Conversation – How Talk Can Change Our Lives’ (which originally began as a series of talks on the BBC).
I’ve tried to get to see him on a couple of occasions but they all fell through. Now there’s another opportunity (which I will also unfortunately miss), however if you have the time and interest it certainly sounds quite fascinating!
The Feast of Strangers
22nd Aug 2009, 2.30pm-6.30pm
Regent’s Park, At The Tree House Gallery, near the Boating Station
A chance for Londoners and Visitors to London to meet.
You will be introduced to someone you do not know and will be offered a Menu of Conversation, like a restaurant menu, with 25 topics of conversation to choose from.
This is the Birthday party of Theodore Zeldin, open to everyone.
Bring a rug and refreshments for yourself or to share.
Further information here.
I’ve been thinking about the crucial role of ‘quality conversations’ recently and how relatively uncommon they are. Often when people say ‘that was a useless meeting’ they actually mean the conversations were poor. We’re not formally taught to ‘converse’ so it’s interesting to think of how things can be improved, by structured interventions or otherwise. This is also related to dealing with the (more specific) issue of ‘the curse of knowledge‘.
Update: write-up from the day here.
Picture credit: Theodore Zeldin at The Oxford Muse.