11 July 2014

of Babel

A new dictionary of untranslatable ideas and words is heavygoing, but absorbing.

13 June 2014

The vanished and the defaced

In Stalin’s Russia, the camera was frequently made to lie.

9 May 2014

Notes of a dirty old modernist

Incest? Rape? Child murder? Alain Robbe-Grillet's final novel has it all.

28 March 2014

The pathology of genius

Was Gilbert Stuart’s erratic work and behaviour due to bipolar disorder?

24 February 2014

Never mind the children, what about the parents?

Until adults learn to conduct themselves properly in museums, children should be excluded.

22 November 2013

Camus and Monod: courage and genius

Sean B Carroll tells the story of two men whose lives embodied resistance, humanism and intellectual inspiration.

4 October 2013

Stephen King: no longer scary

King’s sequel to his Seventies classic, The Shining, is plodding and pedestrian.

Books 1 March 2013

The cult that wants to be a religion

From its sacred text to its absurd creation myth, Scientology is far closer to recognised religions than its critics allow. Just with a therapeutic twist.

Books 25 May 2012

There was nothing August about Strindberg

As brilliant a playwright as Strindberg was, his life as an alchemist, practitioner of the occult and downer of absinthe remains as compelling as his work.

Books 30 March 2012

Letters from a beaten figure

A collection of William Burroughs’s letters reveals the Beat writer’s thoughts on everything from Denmark and drugs to ringworm and movie stars.