This is the blog of Alastair Matthews, Germanist, medievalist, linguist, narratologist – also hillgoer and lover of decent food. That much, I guess, will never change.

The site itself originated as part of the impact/outreach portion of a Marie Curie Fellowship. That ended in August 2017, but even before then it had become something more than just an purely academic blog … the back country of Scotland figures a lot, as well as the occasional rant/reflection on life as an ECR.  I post only sporadically here at the moment; perhaps that in itself is a reflection of the change that has taken place since I took the realities of trying to pursuing an academic career on their own terms and said: no more.


Views expressed are my own; with that caveat, the costs of the WordPress premium plan for this website were paid by funding from the European Union. Both have now expired, but for the record here is the original acknowledgement – not just rhetorically, but as a trace of the kind that’s all to often erased.

flag_yellow_lowThis project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 658110.


2 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hello Alistair. I bumped into you via a Twitter suggestion to follow and that led me to your blog. Long ago in college – when this was closer to news than history (!) – I was deeply interested in Northwestern European culture, studied Anglo Saxon, learned a little Old Norse, read the Icelandic sagas (probably time to get back to them). Now I’m much more focused on the Eastern Mediterranean – Medieval Roman culture and history and the Romans’ troublesome neighbors. Still, I’m a big music listener (have been writing about it for American Record Guide since about 1980) and know Wagner’s Lohengrin and Parsifal well. Also some of the sources, though I think most of the sources got changed in Wagner’s consciousness – a kind of proto Blue Guitar. I can’t tell what you’re up to with Lohengrin from what I’ve read so far. I assume a kind of exploration and gathering of the stories into a scholarly exploration. Good luck with it! Also good old Ursula, the little bear goddess (?). I’m sure that the Huns would have put her and her 12,000 virgins to other fates than martyrdom had there been such an encounter. Anyway, nice to have encountered you and I look forward to your postings and tweets. You can reach me should you be so inclined at schakwin [at] gmail. Best of luck with scholarship and lodgings. Stephen Chakwin.


    • Thankyou! The Lohengrin book should be out in the autumn so all will be revealed… but I can say that it focuses on the German version, and I guess one of the subtexts is to try to free it from the kind of expectations one has if one approaches it through Wagner (so yes – lots of changes!). There are some spinoff projects I’m working on at the moment that branch out into other languages – it’s an extraordinary convoluted network of stories that could have several more books written about it really: the early scholars didn’t do a bad job of cataloguing them, all things considered, but there’s so much more to say about them. Lodgings appear to be sorted out as of April, so things are looking up a little now.


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