To begin, not propitiously. When checking whether my title ‘Necessary Fictions’ was being used elsewhere, Google revealed that it was going to be used in a future talk, and by me. It transpired mercifully that this use was going to be quite different to the present which suggested the prospect of a new academic genre: same title, different paper; rather than the standard combination of same paper, different title. Fortuitously, that contrast gave me the leitmotiv for this talk – that things ostensibly the same can be different, and that things ostensibly different can be the same.

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