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Writing for Peter Hacker or: The Perks of Writing Essays in Oxford.


So it’s the end of Hilary Term here in Oxford and the literature graduates are spending their entire days (and a considerable part of their nights) in the libraries all around the city. I considered myself to be one of the lucky ones, having an almost perfect special subject essay already and thus having two weeks to write my essay for Theory of Literature and Methodology of Criticism. So I thought. Because last week, I asked a really famous philosophy professor, whose lectures on Wittgenstein I’ve been attending this term, whether he wants to have a portrait shoot. So two days later, I’m standing there in Oxford’s philosophy faculty, behind me images of all the great Oxford philosophers of the past, shooting away with my camera – and he asks me to send him my theory essay. The essay that was yet to be written – and indeed, yet to be properly conceptualized!!! That’s why, instead of working two weeks on this essay, I did it in 5 days. And let me tell you, taking on theorists as intelligent as Beardsley, and Searle, and Derrida, who have thought about these issues for years and years before they started publishing is a daunting task in itself. Knowing, that one of the greatest philosophers of our times is about to read whatever your little mind has to say about them, is even worse! Especially, since what you have to say about them lies within the domain that is his speciality…

Nevertheless, 20 minutes ago, I sent the e-mail.




I think, the waiting is inevitable.


But so that you know, who will be reading my essay (and whose scorn awaits me ;) ):

Peter HackerAs one of my best friends put it: “This is the greatest man on earth!” And as another one put it with raised arms, warpaint on his face, performing a Maorie war dance: “WITTGENSTEIN!”



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Martin Prechelmacher is a literature major in Vienna, part-time photographer and writer. He is also the editor of Volltext Blogbuch, a German online magazine for literary culture. ---- Martin Prechelmacher studiert Literatur in Wien, ist Teilzeit-Photograph und Autor. Seit Juni 2011 ist er Chefredakteur von Volltext Blogbuch, einem deutschsprachigen Online-Magazin für literarische Kultur.

2 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Pingback: Why Kids Write Boring Essays (it’s not the reason you think) | That Writing Lady

  2. Pingback: The Mysteries of Consciousness: Peter Hacker at UCL, Monday 8th July 2013, 5pm. | media and arts technology

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