If you are yet to travel down to the Hendrick's Carnival of Knowledge, I encourage you to. Upon arrival, one discovers a surrealist salon, offering oddball events such as Victorian paper collage classes lead by impeccably-dressed representatives sporting waistcoats and bowler hats to boot. In the parlour bar, generously garnished cocktails are mixed to the sound of prohibition era tunes tumbling out of the music box.
At the sound of the gong, we are invited upstairs away from this gay frivolity to partake in more intellectual matters. 'Why We Make Mistakes' is a talk hosted by Yuka Igarashi of Granta magazine - a quarterly showcasing the best of new writing. As an Assistant Editor, Yuka is well-positioned to discuss those textual mistakes that our minds actively ignore, and the discussion includes a number of activities to demonstrate these theories.
As well as mistakes in writing we look into optical illusions and lapses in concentration, explored using short stories of gentleman pickpocket Apollo Robbins. The arrangement is relaxed and discussion stimulating; with the audience sat upon comfortable chairs around a number of little tables, smaller conversations are encouraged by organic division into smaller groups. Tongues are loosened even further by our complimentary Hendrick’s gin and tonics.
Like most of the events at Hendrick’s Carnival of Knowledge, the main focus falls upon the literary, and Yuka tells us of the incredible lengths she goes to in order to circumvent her biologically-hardwired autocorrect. We have a chance to try our own hand at editing too, as she shares with us the very piece she was given to edit in her interview for Granta. It might sound dull, but the sheer number of mistakes, plus their diversity of style, were pretty astonishing.
Not only were we given an engaging talk on the peculiarities of the human mind, but an enormous appreciation for the skill behind editing: a highly enjoyable and potentially valuable experience.