Notebook

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.

The Sahara by armchair

Reading the Andalusian Arab writer al-Bakri is to go on a magnificent journey through harsh deserts and lands rich in gold watched over by quixotic local rulers.

Great Books: ‘Voss’ by Patrick White

Inspired by the deserts of his homeland Australia, Patrick White mastered a unique and unsparing prose which continues to resonate with writers the world over.

Fear and loathing in East Anglia

The deceptive tranquility of Norwich’s Mousehold Heath was the setting for the first documented case of the anti-semitic ‘blood libel’ myth.

The tragedy of the Trump circus

Hollywood liked Trump and helped make him. Then he became President. Can entertainment and politics be restored to their proper place?

On Richelieu’s cats

In his pets, the Cardinal found liberation from the toils of statecraft. Those care-free animals envy not man’s restraints.

Nijinsky’s last dance

The great dancer Vaslav Nijinsky’s astonishing revival after decades of madness ranks as one of the most mysterious events in art – he found it in himself to have one last dance.

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