"Murray is the best kind of literary biographer" – The Financial Times.
For more information about the books of Nicholas Murray
click HERE and access his website
Winner of the 2015 Basil Bunting Award for poetry

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

A New Year Resolution

It sometimes seems as though 2009 has been the year of Lists. Endless lists, with The Guardian and The Observer particularly obsessed with this form of rather childish journalism. Instead of articles of intellectual discovery or exploration we get endless drilling into rows of the usual suspects, the same old names, the same old cultural 'celebrities', the safe choices. And we stop caring. It has been made worse by the fact that this year's lists can play the end-of-the-decade variation as the "noughties" vanish unlamented. Can it really be a decade since I was on the streets of a little market town in the Welsh Marches at midnight celebrating the end of the 20th Century? And what are centuries anyway? – 500 years ago this pew end in my picture (I seem to be right out of robins) was carved in Geneva cathedral and it's still there, looking well on it.

So, no lists from me for 2009 (oh, all right then, three novels slug it out for first prize: Colm Toibin's Brooklyn which everyone else seems to have chosen; Coetzee's Summertime which no one, amazingly, seems to have chosen; and Jean-Philippe Toussaint's electrifying La Vérité sur Marie which probably wins in the end, an astonishing novel).

So a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year to everyone.

No comments: