'In Bulgaria, my novel's main character turned up to meet me'
PASSPORT: MALCOLM BRADBURY
Sunday 22 June 1997
A 1993 stamp for Sweden reminds Bradbury of a conference on Diderot, the French philosopher. "It inspired me to write a novel about him which I haven't finished yet ... I simply want to get it done before the millennium." Yet another conference springs to mind when Bradbury sees a 1994 stamp for Turkey. William Golding had just died and Bradbury gave a speech about him in Ankara. "I go to a lot of conferences. Some are amazingly boring, but providing there are bright people and some good papers, I enjoy them. It is a good way to see the world, and it's the only world I enjoy seeing. I'm not keen on being gawping tourist, I'd much rather be in a community of academics and historians, often journalists," he adds.
When Bradbury isn't at conferences he attends literary festivals where, he says: "I read from my work and listen to other people reading from theirs." In 1994 he attended the Harbour Front literary festival in Canada, and last year he went to the Adelaide Festival in Australia. His one disappointment is that his wife, Elizabeth, who adapts novels for radio, doesn't accompany him. He explains: "She won't come. Mostly because she doesn't like flying, but also because she probably has enough writers in her own life."
His most recent trip was to the US. "I was returning to Indiana after 40 years - I was a graduate student at the university there. I went back with a BBC radio crew who charted my reactions, but the strongest shock is the fact that southern Indiana has scarcely changed. It is a more liberal place - it was partly segregated in the days when I was there so there was a lot of racism, and that seems to have gone entirely - but in appearance it's changed very little."
Writer and broadcaster Professor Malcolm Bradbury has adapted two episodes of 'Dalziel and Pascoe', currently being screened on BBC1 on Saturdays.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
Dramatic GoPro video shows backpacker Alexander Hennessy warding off armed robber in Buenos Aires, Argentina
The Best Place To Be Today shows 365 of the world's most amazing places - and the perfect time to visit them
Pakistani passenger power forces two politicians off plane
Best airports for a layover
Love hotels: in pictures
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 There is literally not a single woman in this iPhone 6 queue
- 4 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
- 5 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...
Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...
£20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...
£15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...