Books

Not poor or lowly

8 January 2005 12:00 am

Which is the finest 18th-century building in England? Not a royal palace, not a library, not a cathedral, but a…

QUESTING QUIZ OF THE YEAR

1 January 2005 12:00 am

Questing quiz of the year

General fiction from France . . .

1 January 2005 12:00 am

General fiction from France . . .

Curiouser and curiouser

1 January 2005 12:00 am

Haruki Murakami must be one of the most successful novelists in the world, from the point of view of readership;…

Gamesmanship of the mind

1 January 2005 12:00 am

Not a manual for omniscience; rather the aim is always to appear right, whether you are or not. Schopenhauer wants…

Neither fish, flesh nor fowl

1 January 2005 12:00 am

According to a Yale professor, Eric Jager has invented a new genre with this book. I can see what he…

Striving ever upwards

1 January 2005 12:00 am

George Frederic Watts (1817-1904), if never exactly popular, was regarded in his day as possibly the greatest artist in the…

. . . and a Parisian bombe surprise

1 January 2005 12:00 am

This is a French novel, a very French novel. The author won the Prix Goncourt for an earlier book and…

Recent arts books

18 December 2004 12:00 am

Recent arts books

Brief and to the point

18 December 2004 12:00 am

Very few people have ever dared to publish a book of aphorisms, and certainly hardly anyone in recent memory. The…

Tough is the night

18 December 2004 12:00 am

‘Mostly we authors repeat ourselves,’ Scott Fitzgerald observed late in his life. ‘We learn our trade, well or less well,…

The ogre of lullabies

18 December 2004 12:00 am

For six months I have been waking up on the island of St Helena. At nine o’clock I walk to…

The heresy of explanation

18 December 2004 12:00 am

The Pentateuch belongs to all sorts of different people and I cannot speak for them and their needs, so I’ll…

The joys and pains of solitude

18 December 2004 12:00 am

Life in Iraq may not be half as apocalyptic as the media would suggest, but it is still sufficiently turbulent…

Masters of the majors

18 December 2004 12:00 am

The game of golf developed in Scotland in the 15th century. This trio of books chronicles the life, times and…

Pleasure without angst

18 December 2004 12:00 am

David Hockney is a conjuror who likes to explain his tricks, or, as one commentator put it, conducts ‘his education…

Life and letters

11 December 2004 12:00 am

The academy’s best-loved post-foxhunting bloodsport continues

Children’s books for Christmas

11 December 2004 12:00 am

Children’s books for Christmas

The original Essex man

11 December 2004 12:00 am

The boil and hiss of mediaeval Hell, as conceived by Dante, is hard for us to imagine. Yet the 1935…

Awkward member of the squad

11 December 2004 12:00 am

Peter Hall and Richard Eyre both published diaries about their time running the National Theatre, edited in Hall’s case by…

Happy days in Wyoming

11 December 2004 12:00 am

In the wake of a presidential election where both candidates’ fervid speech- ifying took them back and forth across the…

Down but not out on one’s uppers

11 December 2004 12:00 am

One of the more amusing characteristics of the English upper classes is their habit of going around disclaiming their upper-classness.…

The daily round, the common task

11 December 2004 12:00 am

Opinion polls, it could be said, are the descendants of Mass Observation. This was a non-academic social survey started in…

Wolves in sheep’s clothing

11 December 2004 12:00 am

The word ‘Wahhabi’ entered popular consciousness at the same time as ‘9/11’ and is now about as loaded as the…

A choice of recent first novels

11 December 2004 12:00 am

All writing has some literary precedent; where better then for a first novelist to find inspiration than the Bible, the…