Saturday, January 23, 2010

What I'm Doing 29:

What I'm listening to:

'Funeral' by Band of Horses. I can't remember where I first heard this - but it led me to buy their album 'Everything All the Time' and I like every track. It's the sort of plaintive, miserable music that is very suitable accompaniment to the average British winter (and summer).

What I watched last:

Running on Empty. I expect everyone else in the world saw this in the 1980s, but I somehow missed out. It stars River Phoenix who who I'd heard a lot about, but this film makes it plain what a talented person he was. As well as being a suitable vehicle for his musicianship I thought his acting in this film was quite stunning too. It's an unusual theme - about prodigal relationships and the pain of separation - and the acting from the rest of the cast was excellent too.

What I'm reading:

The Private Life of Chairman Mao by Zhisui Li. Zhisui Li spent more time with the Chinese leader than anyone else, which gives him an authority as biographer. When I read about China I am conscious that there might be bias - so I think the best thing I can try to do is read from as many different sources as possible. This way I shall see the story from all directions which I hope will be bring me as close to what really happened as possible. This book is a new acquisition - my interest piqued by my reading of Wild Swans by Jung Chang.

Wild Swans also led me to buy The Real Story of Ah-Q and Other Tales of China by Lu Xun because I wanted a example of modern Chinese literature, and although this is not too modern (Lu Xun was writing at the start of the twentieth century), he is considered to be one of the leading Chinese writers of the era.

What I'm doing:
My talk for my Patagonian book. I'm going through all the books I read in my research looking for quotes and pictures to compile a powerpoint presentation. This will take some time...

Incredibly, it's been eight months since I did 'What I'm doing 28', so high time I did another.


Blogger jem said...

Haven't checked in for a while Clare. Caught up with your China posts before Christmas but your comments were off. But wanted to say thanks for sharing. I felt like I visited places I'll probably never see.

Glad you found 'Running on Empty'. It's one of my favourite films. I watched it just before Christmas and afterwards as I was taking out the DVD I noticed some chinese sky lanterns drifting over. First time I've seen any, although more went over on New Years Eve. And apparently they are all the rage.

Anyway, unrelated waffles. Nice to catch up with you blogwise.

Fri Jan 29, 12:32:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thanks Jem - nice to 'see' you again:-)

I'm glad you liked my China posts - there are more to come yet, probably the best bits - thought so anyway.

That synchronicity with the lamps and the DVD is weird. Sometimes I think these things 'mean' things but in truth it's probably one of a million coincidences that happen every day and we only notice the ones that happen to appear significant.

Fri Jan 29, 12:46:00 pm  

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