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Podcast: Howard Jacobson’s Annual Dinner speech

Summer Exhibition 2015

Published 22 June 2015

Man Booker Prize-winning author Howard Jacobson on the “urgent necessity of play” at the Royal Academy’s Annual Dinner 2015.

  • The Royal Academy’s Annual Dinner takes place in the galleries of the Summer Exhibition during its opening week, and features a speech by a leading public figure – past speakers have included Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill and more recently Stephen Fry and Jeanette Winterson. This year’s Annual Dinner speech was given by the novelist Howard Jacobson.

    In a talk of wit and provocation, Jacobson compares the modern-day critic with the figure of the traditional country clergyman. He makes a plea for art, for the “urgent necessity of play” as he calls it, and the persistent struggle against the “penury of existence”.

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