History

National disgrace

With barely suppressed rage, but with a forensic eye for the facts after years of careful and deep research, Ian Campbell’s The Addis Ababa Massacre: Italy’s national shame recounts a...

  • THE ADDIS ABABA MASSACRE

    Ian Campbell

Architecture

Integrity acts

In July last year, the New York Times ran three separate pieces about the uproar surrounding the push by estate agents to rebrand a southern part of Harlem as “SoHa”....

  • THE ROOTS OF URBAN RENAISSANCE

    Brian D. Goldstein

  • DOWN THE UP STAIRCASE

    Bruce D. Haynes and Syma Solovitch

Arts

Embroidery of inestimable value

If there’s a single word that arises in connection with Wagner’s “Romantische Oper” Lohengrin, then “colour” is probably it. Franz Liszt was among the first to put it into print;...

  • LOHENGRIN

    Richard Wagner

Biography

Walter Pater, 1890s

Renaissance man

The importance of Classics to Walter Pater

  • PATER THE CLASSICIST

    Charles Martindale, Stefano Evangelista and Elizabeth Prettejohn, editors

Biography & Memoirs

Difficult to rattle

Most of us don’t know how we would behave if we were woken by a group of masked gunmen, but we probably wouldn’t address them with a bright “Good evening!”,...

  • THE MONK OF MOKHA

    Dave Eggers

Classics

Between God and Caesar

The first gospels were written during the last thirty years of the first century. By then Jesus had been dead for more than thirty years. We do not know where...

  • PONTIUS PILATE

    Aldo Schiavone

Commentary

Satan’s son?

The little art he is master of”, according to a contemporary, amounts to “forging a story and imposing it on the world for truth.” That is not the harshest thing...

Fashion

On their bikes

Who would guess, looking at late Victorian women’s fashions, that the Dress Reform Movement dated back to the 1830s? By 1900, the crinoline and the bustle had come and gone,...

  • BIKES AND BLOOMERS

    Kat Jungnickel

Fiction

The blunt edge of privilege

So badly did Jean Rhys behave when, in her eighties, she stayed in north London with Diana and George Melly, that her hosts referred to her as Johnny Rotten. It...

  • A VIEW OF THE EMPIRE

    Caryl Phillips

History

Sound of blinking

The Eastern African savannah in the late nineteenth century was a violent place. It hosted a bewildering array of slave merchants who struggled for commercial supremacy before European invaders colonized...

  • TIPPU TIP

    Stuart Laing

Literary Criticism

Perpetual motion

What, then, shall that language be? One-half of the committee maintain that it should be the English. The other half strongly recommend the Arabic and Sanscrit. The whole question seems...

  • HYBRID TAPESTRIES

    Muneeza Shamsie

Literature

Huddling on the ground

Varlam Shalamov never enjoyed the popular success or level of celebrity achieved by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, yet he is arguably the most powerful writer to emerge from the Stalinist Gulag. He...

  • KOLYMA STORIES

    Varlam Shalamov

Literature & Poetry

Separate dots

A haphazard group of Europeans leads a mildly pressurized life in a sanatorium high above Geneva. The pressures come from tuberculosis and the woes of history. At an indeterminate time...

  • Zofia Nalkowska
    CHOUCAS
    Translated by Ursula Phillips
    200pp. Northern Illinois University Press. Paperback, $29.95.
    978 0 87580 707 2

NB

Relative prejudices

Albert Einstein was a racist. We learnt that last week from the BBC and the Guardian, among others, apropos the publication of the physicist’s private travel diaries, written on a...

Poems

Woodsmoke

Woodsmoke I shall be walking past stark city gardens of October,or, on a stringent winter’s night, a row of cottages, airice-burning the throat – and in seeps woodsmoke; winding me...

Poetry

Sadness and courage

Despite his consistency of voice and range, Tim Dooley is a rare example of a poet who has improved with age. Weemoed, his first collection of new poems in almost...

  • THE SOUND WE MAKE OURSELVES
    WEEMOED

    Tim Dooley

Politics

Goulash democracy

Travelling along the eastern coast of England in the 1980s, W. G. Sebald sifted through the ruins of a region run down and in decay, yet terrified of its past....

Politics & Social Studies

Salty as the sea

The Venetian Republic hit the apogee of its gastronomic renown in 1574, with the glittering banquets held to honour Henri III. The King was meant to be racing from Poland...

  • Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi
    VENICE
    Recipes lost and found
    272pp. Hardie Grant Books. £25 (US $39.95).
    978 1 74270 773 0

    Laura Zavan
    VENICE
    Cult recipes
    272pp. Murdoch Books. £20.
    978 1 74336 310 2

Religion

Drunk on godlessness

Spare a thought for the fate of humanists – not Erasmus or Thomas More, but members of humanist associations whose future, judging from Callum Brown’s book, may be even shakier...

  • BECOMING ATHEIST

    Callum C. Brown

  • GOD CREATED HUMANISM

    Theo Hobson

Science

Poster commemorating the space flight of Valentina Tereshkova in 1963.

Whitey on the moon

Zaheer Baber on NASA and pressing social movements

  • APOLLO IN THE AGE OF AQUARIUS

    Neil M. Maher

Science & Natural History

Walls and overalls

Even for those who shy away from the isolation and hard work of rural life, there’s a certain vicarious allure to stories of countryside careers. First published in 1991, Janet...

  • THE SHEEP STELL

    Janet White

  • BETWEEN STONE AND SKY

    Whitney Brown

Social Studies

Leftovers

In 2016, I joined a tour of universities in the United States with four other Chinese writers, promoting our books and Chinese literature generally. As we travelled from the East...

  • LEFTOVER IN CHINA

    Roseann Lake

Twenty questions

Twenty Questions with M. John Harrison

If you could make a change to anything you’ve written over the years, what would it be? Graham Greene was right, you just shouldn’t publish your first three novels

Relative prejudices

wp-admin

June 20, 2018

Albert Einstein was a racist. We learnt that last week from the BBC and the Guardian, among others, apropos the publication of the physicist’s private travel diaries, written on a...

Embroidery of inestimable value

wp-admin

June 20, 2018

If there’s a single word that arises in connection with Wagner’s “Romantische Oper” Lohengrin, then “colour” is probably it. Franz Liszt was among the first to put it into print;...

Perpetual motion

wp-admin

June 20, 2018

What, then, shall that language be? One-half of the committee maintain that it should be the English. The other half strongly recommend the Arabic and Sanscrit. The whole question seems...

Goulash democracy

wp-admin

June 20, 2018

Travelling along the eastern coast of England in the 1980s, W. G. Sebald sifted through the ruins of a region run down and in decay, yet terrified of its past....

L’intraduisible

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June 20, 2018

A good way of trying to capture the Frenchness of French films is to watch several in quick succession. However different and singular the film worlds of François Ozon, Mathieu...

The blunt edge of privilege

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June 20, 2018

So badly did Jean Rhys behave when, in her eighties, she stayed in north London with Diana and George Melly, that her hosts referred to her as Johnny Rotten. It...

Escape artist

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June 20, 2018

Walking home late on Christmas Eve in 2012, the young writer Édouard Louis – then a student at the prestigious École Normale Supérieure in Paris – strikes up a conversation...

The Shepherd’s Hut

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June 20, 2018

In the end the old geezer give up and went inside. Maybe he got bored. Or could be he couldn’t stand those moths another minute. He et everything on that...

The damage done from outside

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June 20, 2018

Sophie Mackintosh’s electric debut concerns the perils and oppressions of life with men. Three sisters – Grace, Lia and Sky – grow up on an isolated coastal compound, taught by...

Rendered unto the world

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June 20, 2018

In an interview in 1994 the novelist and historian Shelby Foote spoke about the reconciliation in the wake of the American Civil War – what is often referred to as...