Notebook

ellipsis in praise of

In praise of the ellipsis

Style guides and standardisation have beaten out any creativity in punctuation. The near eradication of the multi-purposed ellipsis has been one of its greatest losses.

Spyros Vassiliou greek modernist

Who are the modern Greeks?

For the west, Greece is classical Greece, the birthplace of western culture, thought, and democracy, while for the Slavic-speaking world it is a brother-nation of the Orthodox church, a common inheritance stretching across eastern Europe.

sleeping satyr

On the dangers of sleep

Today, it’s seen as the ultimate pillar of health – but many ancient lives were shaped by the suspicion that excessive sleep was undesirable for the mind – if not categorically treacherous.

Louis Armstrong jazz

History’s soundtrack: America’s swinging musical diplomacy

Against the background of the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and a growing civil rights movement, America’s foremost jazz musicians travelled the world as cultural ambassadors, becoming a triumphant force in international diplomacy and domestic politics.

Ukraine Church

Putin’s war with the Church

You can’t separate the Ukrainian – Russian war from the region’s historical struggles over Orthodox Christianity. The Russian state is using every tool in its arsenal, including aggressively clamping down on those who disagree with its stance on the Church.

ukraine displace persons

War displaces Ukrainians – again

The growing and unresolved humanitarian crisis unfolding in Europe as hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians flee fighting is not new. When Russia invaded Ukraine’s eastern regions in 2014, it scattered millions of people seeking safety further west. By 2021, some 1.5 million had the status of internally displaced people. But now, just as then, ordinary citizens are mobilising to help each other.

Italian writer Beppe Fenoglio

Beppe Fenoglio: A Complex Centenary

The Italian writer came into his own during the Second World War– but his ideas about the English-speaking world don’t necessarily connect to Western realities – or audiences – today.

russian ballet

Show’s over: the case against a cultural boycott of Russia

In the rarefied world of classical music, famous Russians who have yet to criticise their country’s invasion of Ukraine have had global invitations withdrawn. But while many have made no bones about supporting Putin in the past, we should think hard about how to fairly treat artists from aggressive and authoritarian regimes.

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