One of the best things about living in the U.K. was BBC 4. Often mocked as being the mouthpiece for liberal, middle-class Britain, BBC 4 was remarkable in my opinion, for the amount of drama, book programs, poetry programs and programs that discussed religion (often engaging skeptics vrs. the religious in thoughtful debate). BBC 4 is 99.9% intelligent (some of the news/current affairs programs get tedious with their formula of debate), 75% heart, and a good 20% pure soul; the latter being its religion coverage and its poetry. Since coming home to Canada, I have taken to listening to the Beeb online. I particularly enjoy their “Listen Again” feature.
The other great program you might want to listen to, is the Eleanor Wachtel interview with Turkish writer, Orhan Pamuk. It was so intriguing listening to Pamuk discuss his apprenticeship as a writer, studying the European classics intensely for a decade, his admiration of Dosteovsky, about his inner life as a writer, and also, intriguingly, about his methodology for researching a book. For his novel, Snow, he wandered the streets of a Turkish city, videotaping streets and houses, interviewing people, then taking his material back to Istanbul and digesting it. Fascinating. I’m going out to buy his latest book, Colours, a collection of essays, today. Essays, are my favourite form when reading for relaxation or inspiration. Whenever I need to think clearly, or write clearly, I take out Orwell’s collected essays and read one. Maybe I should do that daily! Here is the link to Writers and Company and the Pamuk interview.