Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Ah, almost 2011 already - just as I'd got used to writing 2010 I now have to cope with another digit.

I suppose it is time to look back, and the best I can say about the year is that it was a lot less traumatising than recent years, and thanks to my self-inflicted humiliation-feste (aka 'Grand Tour of Welsh Waterstones'), I got to see a lot of Wales - which I liked, very much. I also got to give my talk in various places and met a lot of interesting people, which was also good.

I have also read lots and lots of excellent books. I suppose I should pick out some of my favourites, but really there have been so many that I don't really know where to start - so I shan't. (Heh) However, I shall mention that I have finished the year with a very good selection: 'The History of the World in Ten-a-Half-Chapters' by Julian Barnes (which I have been meaning to read for years, and have been finally forced into it by a friend who lent me his copy),

finished the utterly wonderful 'A Wild Sheep Chase' by Haruki Murakami

and have now started his 'Norwegian Wood' on audiobooks.

I am also finishing 'China Road' by Rob Gifford in print, which has gripped me like a novel and made me want to return to China to see more of the north-west. This last book was also lent to me by a friend (a couple of months ago now, so I felt embarrassed enough to make sure I read it over Christmas).

I also caught a couple of films of books over Christmas (in a TV schedule that otherwise had little to recommend it) viz 'Atonement' by Ian McEwan

and 'Toast' by Nigel Slater - which were both very good in different ways.

I suppose I should now attempt to make some new year resolutions, but I guess they'll just be the usual: write more, move around more, get out more - and eat less...and generally be a kinder and less self-centred human-being. I give them less than a week.

Anyway, I hope for anyone reading this that 2011 turns out to be a particularly good one for you.

Added next morning: a link to London's sensational fireworks display on the BBC News website.


Blogger Claire Beynon said...

Hi Clare - may that extra/new digit herald a bunch of good new things for you! All the best for the coming year, creatively especially. I've enjoyed reading your blog this year (and have two of your books beside my bed - am looking forward to 'going to Patagonia' before toooo long, too.).

Sat Jan 01, 12:07:00 am  
Blogger Anne S said...

Happy New Year Clare! Glad you're enjoying History of the World in ten and a half chapters - I read it years ago and loved it.

Sat Jan 01, 05:02:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thanks Claire - the same to you. And thank you for getting hold of my books. I hope you like them.

And to you too, Anne. I've heard so many good reports about 'The History of the World...' This friend of mine had been recommending it to me for years and I kept saying, 'Oh yes, I'll have to take a look at that,' but never getting round to it, and in the end he just shoved it through my door. Very glad that he did!

Sat Jan 01, 10:51:00 am  
Blogger Sue Guiney said...

...and a great 2011 to you, too! Love the resolutions. Can I adopt them for myself?

Sat Jan 01, 06:14:00 pm  
Anonymous Gilles said...

« […] and generally be a […] less self-centred human-being. »

After reading the best authors all my life (let's say from 15 on) I come to the conclusion that all significant authors are self-centered ; what are Austen, Borges, Dostoevsky, García Lorca, Hemingway, Ibsen, Joyce, Proust, Rilke, G. Stein, Tolstoy, Wilde writing about ? Themselves.

None were particularly egotists or cruel, nor were they saintly, but I think they made a choice between being a « nice, social » human being and an artist. Or maybe the choice was made by their genes, I don't know. The same goes for scientists and painters and musicians, I'd say (Einstein was not a good husband or father, for instance).

In other words, On ne fait pas la bonne littérature avec des bons sentiments, as Gide once observed.

Sat Jan 01, 08:29:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thanks Sue - and the same to you!

You certainly can - I should feel honoured.

Sat Jan 01, 09:00:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Gilles: I think you are right, sadly.

Sat Jan 01, 09:02:00 pm  

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