Perhaps also in 1992 but definitely in 1993 and 1994 a course titled Philosophy and Literature,
focussing on autobiography, was offered through the Philosophy department at the University of
Melbourne. From memory, on each offering, three members of academic staff presented lectures:
Dr Marion Tapper presented on Sartre’s Words (Les Mots), Dr Chris Cordner on Nietzsche’s Ecce
Homo and Dr Kimon Lycos on Augustine’s Confessions (Confessiones).
To my great regret, I did not attend. However I have it from Marion that on at least one iteration of
the course, Kim’s final lecture met with a standing ovation from students.
And I very clearly remember Kim’s wild-eyed enthusiasm as he discussed his developing ideas on the
topic as we shared an after-work beer or two at Naughton’s (the bar closest to the Philosophy
department). The possibility of experiencing conversion, and what such phenomena presupposed or
revealed with regard to the temporality of mind, struck Kim as a topic brimming with potential. A
potential Kim was never able fully to explore.
Fortunately, the lectures were recorded for audition by students unable to attend in person and,
more fortunately still, cassette tape copies of some of these recordings of Kim’s presentations (from
1994, I think) remained in Marion’s possession after Kim’s death in 1995.
Marion lent the tapes to me, I digitised them and did my best to improve the sound quality.
What we have here then is all but the first lecture in the series of seven lectures given by Kim in the
1994 iteration of the course.
The text, available through on the page, ‘Summary of a Thought-Pattern in Augustine’s Confessions‘,
gives a version of the notes Kim developed and shared with students as he worked on the course.
Apart from their fascinating exploration of Augustine’s intriguing but difficult text, these recordings
give an intense, direct experience of Kim’s manner of presentation.
As such they exemplify a style of exposition which allows students a strong experience of the very
flavour of critical and creative thought in progress as it were. An experience treasured by many who
Arthur O’Neill 2024
The following are some of Kimon Lycos’ recorded lectures.