Words

Words

Words of Wisden

Words of Wisden

If you sit in the window of the Caffe Nero on Cranbourn Street, near Leicester Square Tube station, and look across the heads of the passing tourists, you will see rising out of the ox-blood tiles above the Wok to Walk Chinese takeaway opposite a relief carving of a set of [...]

by × April 12, 2013 × 0 comments

Words

What I’ve been reading…

What I’ve been reading…

Rules are there to be broken, as the saying goes. Break them I did when I went to Spain for a few days without a book written by a Spaniard or set in Spain. Choosing a book to match the destination is my one holiday reading rule, which has led [...]

by × April 11, 2013 × 0 comments

Words

What I’ve been reading…

What I’ve been reading…

I feel curiously, overwhelmingly attracted by the colour yellow – like a bee feels for pollen, or a moth for a flame. So perhaps you can imagine the power held over me by Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper: a combination of books and yellowness, my two favourite things. The [...]

by × February 28, 2013 × 0 comments

Words

What I’ve been reading…

What I’ve been reading…

This is the first is a new series of monthly columns by Emily Rhodes. CultureKicks will also soon have ‘What I’ve been watching…’ and ‘What I’ve been listening to…’ columns to go alongside it. I saw in the New Year up in Scotland, where some friends were getting married on [...]

by × January 29, 2013 × 2 comments

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A Tweet universally acknowledged

A Tweet universally acknowledged

Today sees the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride & Prejudice, one of the most enduring of all English novels, and seemingly so resilient a romance that it can survive everything from erotic parody to an invasion of zombies. One of the hashtags doing the rounds on Twitter last [...]

by × January 28, 2013 × 12 comments

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Ways of reading

Ways of reading

Last week’s Archive on 4 on Radio 4 was a retrospective of the BBC2 series Ways of Seeing, presented by John Berger, which was first broadcast 40 years ago. I remember reading the book when I was at university, and listening to the programme now I was reminded of one of [...]

by × March 2, 2012 × 0 comments

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Will the revolution be analogue?

Will the revolution be analogue?

In opposition, David Cameron memorably chided Gordon Brown as  ‘…an analogue politician in a digital age,’ adding: ‘You are the past’. All true in a political sense, but perhaps Cameron was wrong (or not quite right) about the direction of the digital age. Many in the arts are now arguing [...]

by × February 3, 2012 × 0 comments

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Following Dickens

Following Dickens

2012 is a year of Dickens anniversaries — a major one for him, and what’s turned out to be quite a significant one for me. It’s his bicentenary, of course, but it will also be 30 years since I first read Bleak House. I know that because I wrote an [...]

by × January 29, 2012 × 0 comments

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Billy Elliot vs The Iron Lady

Billy Elliot vs The Iron Lady

Talk about timing! There I was in New York last weekend for the final Broadway performance of the hugely successful Billy Elliot: The Musical, and just as Phyllida Lloyd’s Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady  was about to open in the city. From a musical that takes a dim view of [...]

by × January 13, 2012 × 0 comments

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Did Philip K. Dick dream of a message from God?

Did Philip K. Dick dream of a message from God?

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a newly published, 1,000-page book devoted to a religious – or perhaps psychotic – episode in February and March of 1974, when a pink beam of light sentby God explained the nature of reality to a pulp science fiction writer. It was the [...]

by × December 2, 2011 × 0 comments