Books: Inspirations Novelist Justin Cartwright
Saturday 05 September 1998
I listen to Bruce Springsteen and Leonard Cohen when I am writing; perversely, I find them uplifting. But the music that influenced me most profoundly was the choral music of my school years in South Africa. I still hate it, above all the sound of the organ which seems to me industrial, windy and undiscriminating.
The most purely theatrical performance I ever had was Peter Pan when I was ten: 30 years later at the Barbican, in the first run of the RSC production, I saw it again. It re-opened a direct line to childhood.
I was at school for nine long years under the shadows of Table Mountain, outside Cape Town. Every gulley and cliff and clump of trees was familiar to me. I found the restless mountain sinister; if I had known what an animist was I would have been one.
Of what architects called "built landscapes", Soho is my favourite. Almost every day of my life I pass through and feel better for it, refreshed and amused.
Bernardo Bertolucci's The Conformist is a movie I think about often. The Conformist is a wonderful film, better than the novel by Alberto Moravia, and very moving. When I first saw it, it chimed with everything I believed about life, movies and human relationships - at that time.
I have had no Damascene relations with works of art. But Early Sunday Morning by Edward Hopper is my favourite painting. I find it extraordinary that a painting so still could be so vibrant.
Justin Cartwright's new novel `Leading the Cheers' will be published on 17 September by Sceptre
game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Technology company Alibaba posts job advert asking for 'stunning' women with qualities of adult film actress Sora Aoi
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 'Fire at every person you see': Israeli soldiers reveal they were ordered to shoot to kill in Gaza – even if the targets may have been civilians
- 4 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Jubilee and Jean Grey played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American Horror Story: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga in season 5
Jorge Luis Borges fan brings his infinite library to life online
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils