This question was raised at the recent Historical Materialism conference in London over the weekend. Not during a paper, but through a serendipitous meeting.
Alberto Toscano introduced me to Nina Power, who said, ‘Oh, that’s a surprise! I imagined from your writing that you were a fat old man’.
Alberto said, ‘What do you mean – he writes like one?’
So I had to ask, ‘How does a fat old man write?’
‘Or, for that matter’, said Alberto, ‘a skinny old man?’
I have been trying to figure out that conundrum ever since.