Sunday, 8 July 2007

Machen evening a great success

The Arthur Machen seminar was a great success with around sixty people attending which for a Thursday evening in Caerleon is a great turn out. And this despite a large rainstorm. There were anumber of familar faces like Jon Preece and another distinguished Machenite in attendance was Aidan Reynolds, the joint author of the 1963 biography.

Lionel Fanthorp was an excellent and genial chair and had some great anecdotes about Machen and his connection to his own Fortean researches. After some brief technical problems, I managed to get my audio visual Machen extravaganza working on the screen and we had a series of images as I attempted to run through Machen's life in twenty minutes not an easy

Catherine Fisher, Time Lebbon and Simon Clark all gave great insights into Machen and his influnces on their own writing and the way they perceived the landscape and world. They are all very experienced authors in a differing ways and it was fascinating to hear how Machen had
inspired them. We had a series of interesting questions to answer from the floor the last one being a very tough one what type of things would Machen be writing today if he was alive? The night could have gone on far longer. I was approached afterwards by many people saying they would seek out more of Machen's work.

We retired later to the Hanbury Arms where we drank much ale. The sculpture itself bodes well the sculptor has got a giant piece of Welsh oak to work from.

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