ABOUT THE MOTION: This House Prefers Reading Oscar Wilde to George Orwell Do we prefer satire or comedy? Do we take refuge in the serious or the frivolous? Do we understand the importance of being earnest or would we rather be in room 101? These two authors demonstrate well two powerful traditions in British literature, the comic and the satirical. They both of course share in each other’s art. Some would argue that during our present global crises we should look to Orwell more than ever, others would reach for the escapism of Oscar Wilde. In a new enterprise for the Cambridge Union, we are beginning our cultural debates – and this is our first. At least for a while.
ABOUT OUR SPEAKER (Closing for the Proposition) Will Self is the author of 25 books, some of which have been translated into 25 languages. His Dorian: An Imitation is an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray set during the AIDS crisis. He holds the Chair in Contemporary Thought at Brunel University, and lives in South London.
ABOUT OUR SPEAKER (Closing for the Abstention) Professor Angie Hobbs graduated in Classics and then a Ph.D. in Ancient Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. After a Research Fellowship at Christ’s College, she moved to the Philosophy Department at the University of Warwick. She was a judge of the Man Booker International Prize 2019 and is on the World Economic Forum Global Future Council 2018-9 for Values, Ethics and Innovation