It seems a natural question -
"What have you published?"
I dined in an Oxford college with my old friend The Egregious Dr P recently. I have done this several times over the years, but not for quite some time; and I had forgotten how demanding it is. I wouldn't call it an ordeal exactly, but it can be quite mentally and emotionally taxing. We don't often find ourselves in a situation where everyone is very bright, and where cleverness in conversation is the default position rather than an occasional option to be deployed tactically, and tactfully. I can keep up pretty well on history or psychology or the philosophy of mind or whatever it happens to be, but I do find a lurking sensitivity in myself to the fact that these chaps have all written books. You know, weighty academic tomes. I don't think I've ever aspired to such a thing myself, and yet I still feel oddly impressed or intimidated by it. (I did correct a footnote once, but I didn't get a credit for it.)