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I had to snigger when I overheard my wife placating my son about being prescribed John Milton’s epic yawn Paradise Lost for his second-year English course. That’s one sure way to liven up an LLB.

I remember enjoying a certain duality with the Rhodes University English department in the mid-1980s too. On my first day one professor turned up to a poetry lecture in his Oxford academic gown — just in case we doubted his lofty credentials...

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