December 31 is always a time for reflection and for a writer it should be a time to sum up the writing projects for the year and (hopefully) make sure everything is ready to write/ edit/ draft in the new year. But, the festive season is also a time to hibernate and rest, especially from work! Today I read H G Wells novella, the Time Machine, one of my favourites of his stories. I love reading this at the end of the year, as it emphasises the focus on looking to the future. For those of you who have read the story, you’ll know that the movie (the 1960s version) has a few key differences from the book, such as how the Time Traveller returns to the future with 3 key books which he feels will help to rebuild civilisation. Here are the 3 books I would bring:
A book on mythology is important, as myths and legends are at the root of every human culture, and often the similarities transcend cultural barriers – look at the flood myths for example (although Utnapishtim was the original and best, in my opinion!). Leading on from this of course is the epic of Gilgamesh, the oldest piece of literature in the world. Thankfully Sumerian culture is alive today because of all those scholars thousands of years ago writing with their styluses on clay tablets. Then, last but not least I would bring along The Apology of Socrates. If, in the distant future, there were any people left to rebuild civilisation, what better way to summarise the repercussions of independent thought, bravery and democracy than reading Plato’s words?
Happy New 2014 to all good-hearted people in the world!