Thursday, December 06, 2007

Year End Recap - Part 1

As I was trying to compile a list of all the books I read this year, I realised what a great year it has been reading (and blogging and movie watching)-wise. Like Ulrich in The Man Without Qualities I have also been on a "leave from life," or at least as far as it was possible because, well, my situation is quite different from his. All this year I have hovered around the margins, to use another phrase from the book, always looking in from outside, always trying my best to overcome the temptation to participate or get inside, avoid social situations and the awkward "hello" whenever possible. Feelings of anxiety, fear and uncertainty about the future are always there but these are enveloped by a strange peacefulness. It is almost like I have already entered the Vanaprastha stage of life, when man starts preparing for an eventual Sanyas. I know, it is just a temporary phase but it was a nice experiment.

Now coming back to books, I have to also decide and announce the winner of the Third annual "Dispatches from Zembla Book of the Year Award" and unlike last two years it looks like an easy choice this time. For those who were not here in 2005 and last year the previous winners are:

2005: Speak, Memory (Vladimir Nabokov). Runners Up: Hunger (Knut Hamsun), The Rings of Saturn (W.G. Sebald)

2006: The Melancholy of Resistance (Laszlo Krasznahorkai). Runners Up: The Loser, Wittgenstein's Nephew (Both Thomas Bernhard), The Emigrants (W.G.Sebald)

Making a list of great movies I saw will be more difficult (it will easily cross 50) but will try that too. I tried to write or even briefly log whatever I saw here on the blog but still a lot were left.

Bit busy over the weekend (no, not getting out of Vanaprastha yet) so blogging will continue from next week.

6 comments:

Madhuri said...

What is the prize money? May be I will struggle to get that award sometime :-)

Antonia said...

I do hope to see more nice experiments in strange peacefulness (which seems to be not such a bad things) from you next year. 50 films, i am impressed. Maybe i should make such a list too, for your entertainment, i am sure i would not surpass 20 and this would entail all the films i have seen in my life :)

Alok said...

madhuri: actually, giving the award is much easier, specially if you already have a blog :) Would love to see you end of the year list btw.

antonia: Hope your year was a bit more eventful. actually a lot happened in my life too but only inside ;)

anurag said...

actually a lot happened in my life too but only inside

hahaha :)

Vidya said...

Peacefulness is good.I got back to good reading and introspection and uneventfulness after almost a month.
When you consider next year's awards there needs to be one additional category - New author discovered. I discovered Bernhard and Laszlo K over the last year through your blog. v

Jyothsnay said...

what a hiatus! I came back to your blog post a self-imposed carnival of silence, detachment...
I am glad to see you fondly looking at the whole set of books or authors you met through the year, standing by them reminiscing about all those moments when certain decisions were taken which invariably have led you to strings of expeditions into the world of words, stories..
I may desist to list down and stretch fingers to indicate at the winners, as I believe each book is an experience by itself, a stubborn glance at certain situations prevailed around the land..

I loved what Vidya said.New author is discovered. through your blog, I discovered the world of Bernhard and since then there has been no turning back..I found self lingering around his fence all the time...as I told you earlier, I found WG Sebald through ur blog

"A spell of Silence or Calmness and detachment", in a way, is a great thing to happen, and I am able to connect to the preamble you have given here.A majority of life is unnecessarily spent on perching at the window sill and looking outside, subtly n secretly desiring for others' appreciation or to raise that tempting appeal quotient, a process during which one ignores himself or herself.
That "strange peacefulness", you mentioned emerges from the sea of tranquility one managed to create around self.
I realized "others" enhance the noise levels in our respective world....at times, it's a healthier move to withdraw self into the shell we are born with....

your blog, like Ant's , always encourage to me to write something spontaneously..as I call it "Influence"....

good that I strained my neck to glance at your fence. W.r.t movies, I think, I took a lead over you...:))))))))) ye, ye finally!