These days, the end of the year is dominated by lists - best, worst, memorable. Never lists of the forgotten though. I have been meaning to keep a list of men who I thought were women. Once you find out, either by hearing them or seeing a portrait photograph, it is completely absurd. Charlemagne Palestine, Bela Tarr, Slavoj Žižek - I encountered them all for some (or no) reason assuming - idiotically - that they were women. The list is much longer, but I have forgotten most. The following are some things from two thousand and eight that I have not forgotten, that I have remembered. Not all originated from this year, but all were encountered with significance.
Novels form the foundation by which a year's progress can be judged. At all times whilst reading, no matter how frequently the pages are turned, there is a background noise, electromagnetic static perhaps. This year was the year of Pynchon and Sebald for me. The intimates are written into the archives at the bottom of this page but the overarching sentiment towards loss within Vertigo and Austerlitz, and the daring human scope of Mason & Dixon left me lost for words frequently. I wrote very little here, instead trying simply to digest my very slow readings of both. Danilo Kis also deserves more than mere mention; if ever there were someone I wish I could emulate, it is him. Calvino's If On A Winter's Night A Traveller and Tim Robinson's shorter works also struck chords.
Having worked more on digital and web-based projects this year, I have encountered more original thought here than previously. Whether investigating spectrums, mapping sonic journeys, learning how to use free things again, stealing glances at live football, getting world perspectives or enjoying the democracy of definition, the only thing I have yet to find is a bookmarking tool that works as I want it to. This was the year of the free.
With regards to music, well, that requires another day, another set of thoughts. Cold mists have been drawing into the city since early this morning. I eschewed the long ride into work in favour of setting up at home today and have left it too late to write. Six days until I return to England and much work is to be done if I am to enjoy the holiday.