John Baker's Blog

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Reflections of a working writer and reader

19th March 2006 - Moving to WordPress
At last, I'm moving on from homemade blogging software. The new site should be more efficient. But WordPress is a rather large and complicated program and I have to learn it from scratch. So the move could still take some time. Watch this space.

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16th March 2006 - Billie Holiday, DECEMBER 1957


Billie Holiday - Fine And Mellow
Video sent by alternativa

Lady Day with Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Ben Webster, Gerry Mulligan, Vic Dickenson, Roy Eldridge..

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13th March 2006 - Octavio Paz
From his 1990 nobel acceptance speech : octavio paz photo
The feeling of separation is bound up with the oldest and vaguest of my memories: the first cry, the first scare. Like every child I built emotional bridges in the imagination to link me to the world and to other people. I lived in a town on the outskirts of Mexico City, in an old dilapidated house that had a jungle-like garden and a great room full of books. First games and first lessons. The garden soon became the centre of my world; the library, an enchanted cave. I used to read and play with my cousins and schoolmates. There was a fig tree, temple of vegetation, four pine trees, three ash trees, a nightshade, a pomegranate tree, wild grass and prickly plants that produced purple grazes. Adobe walls. Time was elastic; space was a spinning wheel. All time, past or future, real or imaginary, was pure presence. Space transformed itself ceaselessly. The beyond was here, all was here: a valley, a mountain, a distant country, the neighbours' patio. Books with pictures, especially history books, eagerly leafed through, supplied images of deserts and jungles, palaces and hovels, warriors and princesses, beggars and kings. We were shipwrecked with Sindbad and with Robinson, we fought with d'Artagnan, we took Valencia with the Cid. How I would have liked to stay forever on the Isle of Calypso! In summer the green branches of the fig tree would sway like the sails of a caravel or a pirate ship. High up on the mast, swept by the wind, I could make out islands and continents, lands that vanished as soon as they became tangible. The world was limitless yet it was always within reach; time was a pliable substance that weaved an unbroken present.
When was the spell broken? Gradually rather than suddenly. It is hard to accept being betrayed by a friend, deceived by the woman we love, or that the idea of freedom is the mask of a tyrant. What we call "finding out" is a slow and tricky process because we ourselves are the accomplices of our errors and deceptions. Nevertheless, I can remember fairly clearly an incident that was the first sign, although it was quickly forgotten. I must have been about six when one of my cousins who was a little older showed me a North American magazine with a photograph of soldiers marching along a huge avenue, probably in New York. "They've returned from the war" she said. This handful of words disturbed me, as if they foreshadowed the end of the world or the Second Coming of Christ. I vaguely knew that somewhere far away a war had ended a few years earlier and that the soldiers were marching to celebrate their victory. For me, that war had taken place in another time, not here and now. The photo refuted me. I felt literally dislodged from the present.
From that moment time began to fracture more and more. And there was a plurality of spaces. The experience repeated itself more and more frequently. Any piece of news, a harmless phrase, the headline in a newspaper: everything proved the outside world's existence and my own unreality. I felt that the world was splitting and that I did not inhabit the present. My present was disintegrating: real time was somewhere else. My time, the time of the garden, the fig tree, the games with friends, the drowsiness among the plants at three in the afternoon under the sun, a fig torn open (black and red like a live coal but one that is sweet and fresh): this was a fictitious time. In spite of what my senses told me, the time from over there, belonging to the others, was the real one, the time of the real present. I accepted the inevitable: I became an adult. That was how my expulsion from the present began.
 

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12th March 2006 - Oscar Wilde meets Ibsen
We were at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds last night to see an adaptation of Hedda Gabler by Mike Poulton. After Poulton's work on Schiller's Don Carlos, we were expecting something rather special, but the whole thing was a mistake. Ibsen's script is given the title Hedda Gabler because he wanted to show that Hedda is much more her father's daughter than she is her husband's wife. The playwrite presents us with a woman striving to exist in freedom and responsibility without succumbing to the compromises demanded by bourgeois society. In short, it is a dark, serious and subtle play, which is not to say that Ibsen doesn't make use, from time to time, of a savage humour.
But this production, inexplicably, is played almost entirely for laughs and manages to undermine Hedda, rob the play of its power and strip it down to meaningless melodrama.
The advance publicity describes the production as 'an accessible and fresh new version,' so we should have known better.

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8th March 2006 - He strikes again
Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning? George W. Bush

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A Hundred White Daffodils
A parcel from Graywolf Press in Saint Paul, Minnesota today. A copy of A Hundred White Daffodils by Jane Kenyon, with essays, interviews, the Akhmatova translations, newspaper columns, and one poem. A taster, from The Moment of Peonies:
This year the plants exceed every expectation. Suddenly they've come into their full adult beauty, not strapping, but statuesque - the beauty of women, as Chekhov says, 'with plump shoulders' and with long hair held precariously in place by a few stout pins. They are white, voluminous, and here and there display flecks of raspberry red on the edges of their fleshy, heavily scented petals.
These are not Protestant-work-ethic flowers. They loll about in gorgeousness; they live for art; they believe in excess. They are not quite decent, to tell the truth. Neighbours and strangers slow their cars to gawk
.

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6th March 2006 - The Academy Awards
I was going to write about the Oscar's today, but the results were pitiful.

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4th March 2006 - Syriana
I saw Syriana, the directorial debut of Stephen Gaghan, this afternoon. Gagham wrote the screenplay for Traffic and turned down the adaptation of The Da Vinci Code. Clooney is always watchable and there were a couple of other notable performances, but overall the film was too ambitious for its own good. Many scenes were over my head and when it was finished I was still left with too many questions.

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And then there was this. But God will judge him.

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2nd March 2006 - Goodnight, and Good Luck
Last night we saw the stylish George Clooney film, Goodnight, and Good Luck. together with original archive footage from the Joseph McCarthy era and brilliant musical interludes from Dianne Reeves and her band. The film focusses on broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow as he squares up to McCarthy's House Committee on Un-American Activities. Clooney has bypassed the stereotypical Hollywood film and given us an intelligent, cogent, and fair-minded picture of these events while at the same time not allowing us to forget that we are living through similar processes in the present time.

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1st March 2006 - New look, 2005
Playing catch-up news today. One of British designer, John Galliano's, creations for Dior from his 2005 Paris show:
I wanted to blow the cobwebs away, he said. For more photographs see the Telegraph fashion page

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New photograph



of a guy trying to pretend he's not one of the crowd.

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28th February 2006 - Great Blogs, new to me
My favourite blogs at the moment are Grumpy Old Bookman and Reader of Depressing Books. Original, distinctive voices which might, at any moment, say something interesting. Go check them out.

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25th February 2006 - Annie Ryan; RIP
There is a memorial service in Hull today for Annie Ryan, who died and was cremated in France last week. I won't be able to make the service but Annie has been in my thoughts over the last twenty-four hours and I want to put down a couple of words about my memories of her. We met at the College of Commerce in Hull too long ago to remember. Most of us were part of the advance guard of our generation by then, already into beige and pastel colours, drawing for ourselves a carefully concealed straight-jacket of acquired middle-class taste. When Annie arrived on the scene she looked for all the world like the cake at my seventh birthday party, complete with multi-coloured smarties and jelly-babies.
I realised there wasn't much time and I could easily be relegated to the back of the queue, so at the first morning break I carefully steered her to a corner table of the college canteen and told her, 'Annie, when you walked into the room this morning every hormone in my body stood on end.'
She shook her head, her blond curls dancing in the shaft of sunlight coming through the window.
She said, 'Go fuck yourself.'
I could see it would take some time before we would come to any arrangement. And I could see that it wouldn't all be on my terms.
Rest in peace, Annie.

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22nd February 2006 - Quotations about time
Industrious races find it very troublesome to endure leisure: it was a masterpiece of English instinct to make the Sabbath so holy and so boring that the English began unconsciously to lust again for their work- and week-day. Nietzsche Beyond Good & Evil
An endless, dreary sunday afternoon, an afternoon swallowing down whole years, its every hour a year. By turns walked despairingly down empty streets and lay quietly on the couch. Occasionally astonished by the leaden, meaningless clouds almost uninterruptedly drifting by. ‘You are reserved for a great Monday!’ Fine, but Sunday will never end. Kafka

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20th February 2006 - Changed Blog URL
The address of this blog has changed to: http://www.johnbakersblog.co.uk
The old address will work for a while but sooner or later it will be phased out in favour of the new one.

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17th February 2006 - Reading books
coleridgeIt is claimed that Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) was the last person to have read every book printed in English. This is probably not true, but Coleridge was in with a chance, he might have come close.
This in spite of his lifetime addiction to opium.

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16th February 2006 - Brokeback Willie Nelson
What did you think all those saddles and boots was about?
Country singer, Willie Nelson, has released a recording of a song written in 1981 by Lubbock-born singer-songwriter Ned Sublette: Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other. One couplet in the song reads: When you talk to a cowboy don't treat him like he was a sister/Don't mess with the lady that's sleepin' in each cowboy's head. There are plans to release a video of the song which will be available on iTunes. But it aint there yet.
Postscript: It is here.

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15th February 2006 - Tiananmen Square Images


If you search from Google's UK or USA site you get images like the one on the right
.




If you search from Google's Chinese site you get images like the one on the left
.


Is Google an organisation we can trust?

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Corretta Scott King - RIP
When James Earl Ray killed her husband in Memphis in 1968, just prior to a planned march, Mrs. King organized the funeral, then went to Memphis and finished the march.
One of the ways you bring about change is, you must change yourself so that you're prepared to lead people in the direction they should go. If your emotions are as bad as those you're fighting, even if your cause is just, you disqualify yourself from being effective.
Coretta Scott King: 1927-2006

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13th February 2006 - Solvitur Ambulando
Found an interesting blog by Jill Walker in Bergen. One of her posts was about writers' block, which reminded me of this quote from Colin Dexter:
I think that you've got to be prepared to write a load of nonsense to start with and then you can tart it up. The business of getting going, getting started, is enormously important, and this can be physical. Solvitur Ambulando as the Romans used to say, which means the solution comes through walking.

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12th February 2006 - Two Poems
By Anna Akhmatova
Translated by Jane Kenyon

Everything promised him to me:
the fading amber edge of the sky,
and the sweet dreams of Christmas,
and the wind at Easter, loud with bells,

and the red shoots of the grapevine,
and waterfalls in the park,
and two large dragonflies
on the rusty iron fencepost.

And I could only believe
that he would be mine
as I walked along the high slopes,
the path of burning stones.

------------------------------------------------------------


Like a white stone in a deep well
one memory lies inside me.
I cannot and will not fight against it:
it is joy and it is pain.

It seems to me that anyone who looks into my eyes will notice it immediately,
becoming sadder and more pensive
than someone listening to a melancholy tale.

I remember how the gods turned people
into things, not killing their consciousness.
And now, to keep those glorious sorrows alive,
you have turned into my memory of you.

From A Hundred White Daffodils, work by Jane Kenyon, published by Graywolf Press.

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11th February 2006 - Safeguards collapsed
In March 1987, private investigator Daniel Morgan was brutally axed to death in the car park of a south London pub. At an inquest in April 1988, allegations were made under oath that Daniel’s murder was arranged and covered up with the help of serving Metropolitan Police officers. In the weeks before his murder, Daniel had repeatedly expressed concerns about corrupt police officers in south London. Four police inquiries have failed to resolve this case. No one has ever stood trial for Daniel’s murder.
Daniel Morgan’s brother Alastair describes the case:
For us, all of the constitutional safeguards have collapsed like dominoes. The first inquiry misled the Coroner’s court. The outside inquiry secretly changed its remit and misled the Police Complaints Authority. The third inquiry was conducted behind our backs and the fourth was doomed from the start. Government ministers have also been grossly misled. I believe that the future probity of the Met rests on a public inquiry into my brother’s murder.
For more on this, goto: http://www.justice4daniel.org/

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8th February 2006 - Husband of the year
Some photographs from the International Husband of the Year Awards:

 

Third place: Albania

 

 


Second place: Serbia

 

 

 


And the winner is: Ireland

Thanks to Geoff Gritten for bringing these to my attention.

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3rd February 2006 - Cartoons of The Prophet
There is much talk about the cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad which were published in a Danish newspaper and subsequently in other publications throughout Europe, and on the Internet. The publication has caused demonstrations throughout the Muslim world as many people have found the cartoons offensive. This is not surprising. One of the main tasks of a cartoon is to provoke and offend. In the interests of free-speech I would like to assert my right to reproduce those cartoons on this blog and at the same time decide not to do so because of the present political and cultural context.

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1st February 2006 - Orhan Pamuk
A Turkish court has dropped charges against the novelist Orhan Pamuk, who was accused of insulting the Turkish republic for writing about the genocide of Armenians in 1915. This has been a taboo subject, and, officially, never happened, according to the Turkish government. This means that Pamuk will not now go to jail, as was originally thought.

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Yesterday evening we saw Clogs and The Books at The Shed in Hovingham. These two cult groups are currently touring the UK. Go see them if you get a chance. Don't let them get away.

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29th January 2006 - Chinese New Year
We were at the Museum Gardens in York for the Chinese New Year celebrations. Organisation was totally absent. They'd built a raised stage at the top of a rise (think about it). The temperature was hovering around zero and lots of little kids were crying with the cold. After waiting for forty minutes the entertainments began but nobody could see what was happening and many people had already gone home.
Pity, could have been a nice experience for everyone.

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28th January 2006 - Arctic Monkeys
I spent a couple of hours with the Arctic Monkeys cd tonight. Dunno why I waited so long. All kinds of influences pushing each other around for elbow-room. There's Hendrix in there, together with The Clash and The Jam, the Small Faces and the Kinks. As if that wasn't enough, by the time you get around to playing it through for the second or third time there are strains of Elvis Costello, Steve Earl, the early Saw Doctors and the late Ian Dury. This is a not-to-be-missed experience. Go out and buy it now. Four musicians really getting it on and enjoying every moment. Very Sheffield.
PS. Later, in near silence, only the chugging of the computer as I rip the cd to my hardisc, I have to reflect that the Arctic Monkeys aren't as influenced by their contemporaries, like Coldplay or Franz Ferdinand, as they are by Marie Lloyd, Gracie Fields, Wilfred Pickles and Michael Parkinson.

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26th January 2006 - Google in China
Google has joined Yahoo in deciding to co-operate with the Chinese government to prevent public access to a wide range of sensitive materials. The search-engine will remove search-results from pornography to religious material to political dissent. Chinese citizens seeking access to Web sites containing content related to Taiwanese and Tibetan independence, Falun Gong, the Dalai Lama, the Tiananmen Square incident, opposition political parties, or a variety of anti-Communist movements will frequently find themselves blocked. The BBC news site is inaccessible.
Julian Pain, internet spokesman for campaign group Reporters Without Borders, said Google's decision to "collaborate" with the Chinese government was "a real shame".
Last year, Yahoo was accused of supplying data to China that was used as evidence to jail a Chinese journalist for 10 years.

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25th January 2006 - Poet to Poet
I was at the Poet to Poet event at the Friargate Theatre in York. Impressive evening with Yang Lian and Polly Clark.
Yang Lian grew up in Beijing. He co-founded the influential literary magazine Jintian (Today - now published in exile in Scandinavia). His work was banned in China in 1983, and he has lived in exile since 1989, after organising a memorial service for the dead of Tiananmen while in New Zealand. He has now settled in London.
Polly Clark was brought up in Lancashire, Cumbria and the Borders of Scotland. She has worked at the Edinburgh zoo and taught English in Hungary. She has received an Eric Gregory Award for her poetry.

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23rd January 2006 - Politicians
They all have it, our modern politicians. You can see it in Tony Blair or George Bush, but it is there with the smaller fry also, the ones who stand on their tiptoes reaching for the branches of power. That quality, if that is what it is, the inward conviction that had they lived in those days when the world was being created they might have offered some valuable suggestions.

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21st January 2006 - Blonde Joke
I know this isn't pc, but it is, on the other hand, the best blonde joke, ever.

Oh, yes, and then there was this:
"It is with great enthusiasm that we announce the commercial availability of the Audex Jacket Series," said Bruce Hawver, VP and Director, Companion Products Group, Motorola, Inc. "Whether you're an amateur (snowboard) rider or professional, this jacket equipped with Bluetooth wireless technology will change the way you connect - on and off the slopes."
You want the full story? Go here.

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15th January 2006 - Mental Health
I know you know, but. . . .
Fluctuations in the mental health of political and military leaders are rarely questioned by media or health specialists at the time, only by biographers and historians years later.
from: Psychological aftermath of September 11th. Is there a 9-11 Transition? by Dai Williams.

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12th January 2006 - Winged with Death
I finished the typescript of Winged with Death this morning. When I say 'finished' it doesn't mean I've stopped working on it. I'll continue reading and tweaking but essentially the thing is complete and I'll begin looking for a publisher. Essentially it's a novel about time and tango and revolution, and it's about denial and diappearances. Written in the first person with the main actions taking place in Montevideo in the seventies and the north of England in the present day, it is as much concerned with different time periods in the life of an individual as with different eras.
It is around 93,000 words and is not a crime novel.

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8th January 2006 - Brokeback Mountain
Today I read Annie Proulx's novella, Brokeback Mountain. All fifty-eight pages of it. I know the film version has had great reviews but I think I'll give it a miss. The book was too good. Muscular prose so carefully crafted you can almost smell the two cowboys, their horses and stock, their vehicles and their passion. Must be a landmark fiction, and film - if it is true to the novel - deconstructing, as it does, the West that gave us the myths of John Wayne and the Marlboro Man, leaving in its wake a couple of country gays in a cold and hostile landscape.

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7th January 2006 - Hungarian Goulash
Made a version of Hungarian Goulash tonight. Cheap cut of beef hacked into kid's-fist-size pieces with an equal amount of diced onion. Good handful of chopped garlic. As much sweet paprika as I dare, then, on second thoughts, as much again and a little more. Lemon rind, Cretan oregano and crushed caraway seeds. Covered it with just enough water and a little chicken stock. A few diced potatoes to help thicken up the sauce and then left the whole caboodle sweating in a slow oven for maybe four hours. Added a few mushrooms and miniture red capsicums to make sure it wasn't anywhere near authentic. Served it with rice, but it would've been better with noodles. Good, though. Jeez, wonderful.

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5th January 2006 - Publishers
This report in The Times Online describes what happened when the opening chapters of two Booker Prize winning novels were submitted as typescripts to twenty major London publishers and agents. The novels, one of them by Nobel prize-winner VS Naipaul, were not recognised by any of the recipients. Of the twenty-one replies, all but one of them were rejections. Read the full text by clicking on the link.

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4th January 2006 - Pinter's Speech
Harold Pinter's Nobel Prize Acceptance speech is online at: http://nobelprize.org/literature/laureates/2005/pinter-lecture.html and is well-worth looking up if you haven't read it. The lecture was pre-recorded and shown in video and is available here in that original recording, which lasts approximately 46 minutes. Entitled, Art, Truth and Politics, the text is also available from the same site in English, Swedish, French and German. Pinter talks about his plays and the writing process and concludes with a dispassionate dissection of political language as employed by the world's power elite. He reminds us of, 'the vast tapestry of lies on which we feed.'

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  Recently read:
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith *
Fugitive Pieces
by Anne Michaels *
Brokeback Mountain
by Annie Proulx *
The Colour
by Rose Tremain *
The Digger's Game
by George V Higgins *
The Quest Hero
by WH Auden *
The Drunken Boat: The Revolutionary Element in Romanticism
by Northrop Frye *
Out Stealing Horses
by Per Petterson *
The Novel and America
by Leslie A Fielder *
The Creative Experience in Poetry
by Herbert Read *
The Political Theatre Reconsidered
by Eric Bentley *
The Fate of Pleasure
by Lionel Trilling *
Symbolism and Fiction
by Harry Levin *
The Death of Tragedy
by George Steiner *
Scoundrel Time
by Lillian Hellman *
Cloud Atlas
by David Mitchell *
A Brief History of Time
by Stephen W Hawking *
The Art of Poetry
by Paul Valéry *
A Passion for Tango
by David Turner *
The Painted Bird
by Jerzy Kosinski.*
News of a Kidnapping
by Gabriel García Márquez *
Blood Memory - an autobiography
by Martha Graham *
With Your Crooked Heart
by Helen Dunmore *
Playing Sardines
by Michèle Roberts *
Days and Nights of Love and War
by Eduardo Galeano *
Northern Lights
by Philip Pullman (abandoned half-way) *
The Easter Parade
by Richard Yates *
Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut *
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates *
Ghostwritten
by David Mitchell *
The Sound & the Fury
by William Faulkener *
The Ikon Maker
by Desmond Hogan *
The Buenos Aires Quintet
by Manuel Vazquez Montalban *
True at First Light
by Ernest Hemingway *
Absolute Friends by John le Carre *
Life of Pi
by Yann Martel *
The Birth of Venus
by Sarah Dunnant *
You Can't Go Home Again
by Thomas Wolfe *
The Return of the Dancing Master
by Henning Mankell *
The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald *
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy *
The Blind Man of Seville by Robert Wilson *
The American Boy by Andrew Taylor *
Tokyo by Mo Hayder *
Samuel Pepys - The Unequalled Self
by Claire Tomalin *
Blackwater
by Kerstin Ekman *
Sheer Blue Bliss
by Lesley Glaister *
Perfume by Patrick Suskind *
Always a Body to Trade
by KC Constantine *
The Tupamaros, The Unmentionables by Major Carlos Wilson *
The Wasp Factory
by Iain Banks *
The Corrections
by Jonathan Franzen *
Atomised by Michel Houellebecq *
Don't Look Back
by Karin Fossum *
Alias Grace
by Margaret Atwood *
Mary Swann
by Carol Shields *
The Forest of the Hours
by Kirstin Ekman *
The Hours by Michael Cunningham *
Plainsong by Kent Haruf *
Brick Lane
by Monica Ali *
The Story of Lucy Gault
by William Trevor *
Family Values
by KC Constantine *
The Day of the Triffids
by John Wyndham *
The Summer Book by Tove Jansson *
Unless
by Carol Shields *
Good Sons
by KC Constantine *
The Dark Room
by RK Narayan *
The World's Wife
by Carol Ann Duffy *
Hen's Teeth by Manda Scott *
Disgrace
by JM Coetzee *
Burial of Ghosts
by Ann Cleeves *
Zennor in Darkness
by Helen Dunmore *
Thinks . . . by David Lodge *
Darwin's Worms
by Adam Phillips *
The Private Parts of Women
by Lesley Glaister *
Death and the Oxford Box
by Veronica Stallwood *
The Investigation
by Juan Jose Saer *
The Dark Room
by Rachel Seiffert *
The Tulip Touch
by Anne Fine *
Russian Disco
by Wladimir Kaminer *
The Reader
by Bernhard Schlink *
Dockers and Detectives
by Ken Worpole *
Heartbreak Tango by Manuel Puig *
Foe
by JM Coetzee *
Shame
by Bergljot Hobæk Haff *
Memoirs of the Author of 'The Rights of Woman'
by William Godwin *
A Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark
by Mary Wollstonecraft *
The Sleeping and the Dead
by Ann Cleeves *
 

 

 

Movies remembered:
Caché (2005) by Michael Haneke *
The Road to Guantanamo
(2006) by Michael Winterbottom *
Goodnight, and Good Luck
(2005) by George Clooney *
Saraband
(2003) by Ingmar Bergman *
Factotum (2005) by Bent Hamar *
The Sea Inside [Mar adentro]
(2004) by Alejandro Amenábarby *
A History of Violence
(2005) by David Cronenberg *
Crash
(2004) by Paul Haggis *
Maria Full of Grace
(2004) by Joshua Marston *
Der Untergang
(2004) by Oliver Hirschbiegel *
The Assassination of Richard Nixon
(2004) by Niels Mueller *
Kitchen Stories
(2003) by Bent Hamer *
Closer (2004) by Mike Nichols *
Vera Drake
(2004) by Mike Leigh *
Diarios de motocicleta
(2004) by Walter Salles *
La Mala Educacion
(2004) by Pedro Almodovar *
Bowling for Columbine
(2002) by Michael Moore *
Hable con ella
(2002) by Pedro Almodóvar *
Elling (2001) by Petter Næss *
The Dancer Upstairs
(2002) by John Malkovich *
Laissez-Passer
(2002) by Bertrand Tavernier *
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) by Anthony Minghella *
Todo sobre mi madre
(1999) by Pedro Almodóvar *
The Big Lebowski
(1998) by Joel Coen *
Looking for Richard (1996) by Al Pacino *
Il Postino
(1994) by Michael Radford *
The Piano
(1993) by Jane Campion *
Änglagård (1992) by Colin Nutley *
Thelma & Louise
(1991) by Ridley Scott *
37°2 le matin (1986) by Jean-Jacques Beineix *
Prizzi's Honor
(1985) by John Huston *
Kiss of the Spider Woman
(1985) by Hector Babenco *
Body Heat
(1981) by Lawrence Kasdan *
Atlantic City (1980) by Louis Malle *
All That Jazz
(1979) by Bob Fosse *
Scener ur ett äktenskap
(1973) by Ingmar Bergman *
Cabaret
(1972) by Bob Fosse *
Morte a Venezia
(1971) by Luchino Visconti *
The French Connection (1971) by William Friedkin *
Bonnie and Clyde
(1967) by Arthur Penn *
My Fair Lady (1964) by George Cukor *
Marnie (1964) by Alfred Hitchcock *
Cape Fear
(1962) by J. Lee Thompson. *
Jules et Jim
(1962) by François Truffaut *
La Notte
(1961) by Michelangelo Antonioni *
La Ciociara (1960) by Vittorio De Sica *
Psycho (1960) by Alfred Hitchcock *
La Dolce vita
(1960) by Federico Fellini *
The Defiant Ones
(1958) by Stanley Kramer *
The Key
(1958) by Carol Reed *
The Young Lions
(1958) by Edward Dmytryk *
Giant
(1956) by George Stevens *
The Ladykillers
(1955) by Alexander Mackendrick *
The African Queen
(1951) by John Huston *
The Third Man (1949) by Carol Reed *
Key Largo
(1948) by John Huston *
The Big Sleep
(1946) by Howard Hawks *
Double Indemnity (1944) by Billy Wilder *
Casablanca (1942) by Michael Curtiz *
The Maltese Falcon
(1941) by John Huston *
Citizen Kane (1941) by Orson Welles *

 

 

 

 

Theatre, music and exhibitions from the recent past:
The Canterbury Tales, an RSC production at The Dome in Doncaster *
Hedda Gabler
by Henrik Ibsen at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds *
Two Thousand Years
by Mike Leigh at Theatre Royal Newcastle *
Jerry Springer, the opera -
National Theatre Production at the Grand Opera House, York *
Clogs
and The Books at The Shed, Hovingham Village Hall, somewhere in North Yorkshire *
The Chinese New Year Celebrations
at the Museum Gardens, York *
The Chapter House Choir's 40th Anniversary Reunion Concert
at The Chapter House, York Minster. The highlight was Thomas Tallis' Spem in alium *
Poet to Poet with Yang Lian and Polly Clark
at York Friargate Theatre *
A Few Good Men
by Aaron Sorkin at the Haymarket Theatre Royal *
Speaking Like Magpies
by Frank McGuinness at the Peoples Theatre, Newcastle on Tyne *
The Fox,
a new play by Stephen Lowe, inspired by the DH Lawrence story, at Wakefield Arts' Centre *
John Hegley
at Pocklington Arts Centre *
Billy Elliot - the musical at Victoria Palace Theatre, London *
Subitango
at The Gate, Goole *
The Chelsea Flower Show
, Chelsea *
Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony with John Hastie as organist *
Belshazzar's Feast
by William Walton with the Leeds Philharmonic Choir and the Leeds Festival Chorus *
"Xanthos"
by Roger Nichols. Performed by York Guildhall Orchestra at York Minster *
Laurie Anderson
performing The End of the Moon at the Sage, Gateshead *
Don Carlos
by Friedrich Schiller at the Gielgud Theatre in London, with Derek Jacobi *
Tate Sculpture: The Human Figure in British Art from Moore to Gormley
at the Millennium Galleries, Sheffield *
Macbeth by William Shakespeare at York Theatre Royal *
Stewart Lee
at Hovingham Village Hall *
The Thieving Magpie
by Rossini, performed by Opera North at the Grande Theatre, Leeds *
One Touch of Venus
by Kurt Weill, performed by Opera North at the Grande Theatre, Leeds *
Steve Earl
at Leeds Irish Centre *
Tynan
at Newcastle Theatre Royal with Corin Redgrave in an RSC production *
Edward Hopper exhibition at Tate Modern *
The Permanent Way
by David Hare at Leeds Playhouse *
Suddenly Last Summer
by Tennessee Williams with Diana Rigg at Newcastle Theatre Royal *
Measure for Measure
by the RSC at Newcastle Theatre Royal *
Käthe Kollwitz museum
in Berlin and Cologne *

 

 

 

 
 

 

 






 

 

 

 


 

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