Geoffrey Klempner: Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England

Geoffrey Klempner in 1973

This photograph was taken in 1973, on a family outing to a country pub on the outskirts of London, where they served 'chicken in a basket'. The woman on the left is my glamorous mother. Edie always wanted to be an actress. Late in life, she realized her dream when she became involved with the revival of Yiddish theatre in London. My mother died in 1991.

It was the first year of my BA at Birkbeck College, London. In my hand, you can see Bryan Magee's book Modern British Philosophy, which we were reading for a seminar. The book is based on a series of interviews by Magee for BBC Radio during the winter of 1970—1 and is still an important document of English speaking analytic philosophy in the mid-twentieth century.

I was giving a talk on Bertrand Russell, based on Magee's interview with Stuart Hampshire, and a second conversation with Karl Popper, Peter Strawson and Geoffrey Warnock. The book never left my side. There are numbers pencilled in the margins marking the passages I intended to read out.

Nine years later, Professor Strawson examined me for my D.Phil thesis on The Metaphysics of Meaning at Oxford University.


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