Video: Keeping On Keeping On

Alan Bennett

The LRB published its first instalment of Alan Bennett’s diary in February 1984. ‘I’ve kept a sporadic diary for about ten years,’ he explained.

Besides the occasional incident that seems worth recording, I put down gossip and notes on work and reading. These are some extracts from last year. London is Camden Town and Yorkshire a small village in Craven to which my parents retired, and where I still have a house.

A diary of Bennett’s ‘gossip and notes’ has appeared in a January issue of the LRB most years since then, and these have been collected in three volumes released at ten-year intervals, Writing Home, Untold Stories and now Keeping On Keeping On, published last month by Profile/Faber. On Wednesday 16 November Alan Bennett’s Diaries Live celebrates the writer with a new film screened live around the country, an exclusive clip of which can be viewed here, along with a short reading list from the LRB archive we’ve prepared for the occasion.

The Lady in the Van (1989)

Alan Bennett on Philip Larkin (1993)

Notes on 1997: Me Looking like a Flustered Turkey

Why I turned down Big Brother (2003)

The Uncommon Reader: A Story (2007)

The Habit of Art (2009)

Baffled at a Bookcase: on Libraries (2011)

What I did in 2015