Notebook

Fighting the good fight

Culture wars are as old as politics itself – and far from being inauthentic confections, they cut to the heart of real, living disagreements about history, identity, nationhood and belonging.

Rodin’s eternal peace

The brief re-opening of the Rodin Museum’s gardens gave Parisians a bewitching respite from their everyday cares.

The original women in STEM

Women played a vital role in the early history of botany – let’s not reduce their contribution to kitsch romance.

The lost art of listening

It is a commonplace saying that we must listen more. But in our noisy world it takes a lot of skill and energy.

Life in Venice

Online exhibitions have nothing on the living art of Venice. Seeing its Renaissance beauty again is pure joy.

Tender is the night

Across our cities and towns, night’s natural darkness is giving way to the glare and dazzle of LED lighting – but to embrace it wholeheartedly is to risk losing more than ominous shadows.

Champagne supernova

Audacious dynamism and uninhibited creativity defined the music scene in the party-hard 90s – the last decade when outsiders could become bona fide rock n’ roll stars.

We were on a break

It was the decade of Friends, Bill Clinton and a fresh new pan-European passport. Underneath the teen-pop smile of the nineties there were blemishes.

Classics in the cul-de-sacs

Our cities are so saturated in the mythology of the ancient world that classical allusions pop up in unexpected places.

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