Perhaps your New Year’s resolutions have all made their way to the rubbish bin by now. You’re sneaking ciggies again, you’re spending more nights at the pub than not, and you’ve worked out exactly two times, despite the shiny new gym membership. Don’t worry, you’re in good company. The history of literature is filled with stories of writers and their vices. It may just be a sign of genius. Still, you can up your literary IQ this week with our event picks.
Monday: It’s a blue blue Monday, say the scientists. Which is why we ourselves much prefer the company of poets. You can find seven of them reading from their work tonight at the Troubadour basement as part of a celebration of The Rialto poetry magazine. Yeah, bitch-slapped, Blue Monday! 8pm, £6 tickets, £5 concessions.
Tuesday: If you don’t already have in hand the hot ticket for tonight, 2007 Nobel Prize for Literature winner Doris Lessing at the Southbank Centre, it appears you’re out of luck (an internal ethical struggle arises: don’t do it, Book Grocer, a little humility goes a long way, and you don’t want to get the reputation of an obnoxious know-it-all, do you? and – oh hell, we give up: we told you so!). But you never know when you might stumble across a promising young author who turns later into literary giant. Hedge your bets and head to the JCC Lit Café tonight to hear Edward Docx, author of Self-Help, which was long-listed for the 2007 Man Booker Prize, and Danny Scheinmann, author of Random Acts of Heroic Love, the story of a Siberian POW camp escapee, discuss topics of family and Russian heritage. At the Roebuck, 8pm, £5.
Wednesday: Save some quid for the weekend and head to the Kensington Central library for a free talk with Guardian writer Jon Ronson, whose recently published What I Do: More True Tales of Everyday Craziness gathers together the best of his Guardian columns. 6.30pm.
Thursday: If you missed last week’s Oliver James event at UCL, generous January is giving you a second chance. Just this once, so don’t miss it, because another chance won’t come again. At least not until next Thursday and the final lecture in the series. In tonight’s seminar, ‘Making a Stand for the Under 3s: Correcting New Labour’s Childcare and Education Policies’, James will be in conversation with Guardian columnist Madeleine Bunting. 7.00–9.30pm, £5, tickets available from Waterstone’s Gower Street.
Friday: Author Esther Freud, daughter of Lucian and great-granddaughter of Sigmund, will be discussing her most recent novel, Love Falls, with psychoanalyst John Tydeman, at the Resource Centre. We suggest that you brush up on your knowledge of the Electra Complex before attending. 7.00–8.30pm, £12 tickets, £6 concessions (glass of free wine included – lovely).
Saturday: Wasn’t it Freud who said ‘I don’t know the question, but sex is definitely the answer’? No? Anyway, the Barbican certainly seems to agree with that statement. The Seduced exhibit is in its last week, but you still have time for one more, ahem, afternoon delight. Rowan Pelling, former editor of The Erotic Review, hosts Well-Thumbed Pages, a discussion of the relationship between sex and literature throughout history. 2.30pm, £3.
Image courtesy of buckaroo kid’s Flickr photostream