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Cultural life: Ben Okri, Novelist



The Iliad translated by Robert Fagles, which I am finding a sturdy translation, like an oak; Camus's The Rebel, which I am finding fascinating and true; and The Royal Game by Stefan Zweig because of my interest in chess and literature. I am halfway through reading Rushdie's Joseph Anton.


Lincoln, I was profoundly persuaded by Daniel Day-Lewis's magisterial performance; Django Unchained, entertaining for some, divisive for others; Amour, shattering and true, probably my film of the year. I was enchanted by Beasts of the Southern Wild.


The all-female production of Julius Caesar at the Donmar made me see the play completely differently, revealing aspects of it that are normally veiled. Chekhov's Uncle Vanya at the Vaudeville. Made me laugh and cry at the same time.


I admit a fondness for Blandings. I also watched Howard Goodall's Story of Music, which I found equally charming and eccentric. I enjoyed The Sound and the Fury: A Century of Music, a long overdue survey of the music of the 20th century, which filled the gaps in my understanding of works I'd previously only had an intuitive feeling about.

Ben Okri appears at the Oxford Literary Festival on 17 March. (oxfordliteraryfestival.org)