The Spectator

A weekly, UK-based magazine covering current political, economic, and cultural issues. Articles include interviews, commentary, opinion pieces, essays, and cultural criticism.

Articles from Vol. 297, No. 9204, 2005

. . . and a Parisian Bombe Surprise
. . . and a Parisian bombe surprisePIANO by Jean Echenoz, translated by Mark Polizzotti Harvill, £12, pp. 179, ISBN 1843431807 £11 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848This is a French novel, a very French novel. The author won the Prix Goncourt for an...
Artistic Sustenance
By no means all commercial galleries run their Christmas exhibitions on into the New Year, but several that are doing so happen to be showing some of the most interesting work that has been around in months. However, if you are venturing out in search...
A Selection of Recent Paperbacks
Non-fiction:Where There's a Will by John Mortimer, Penguin, £7.99Are You Talking to Me? by John Walsh, Harper Perennial, £7.99Make Believe by Diana Athill, Granta, £7.99The House of Mitford by Jonathan Guinness, Phoenix, £8.99Elizabeth Bowen by Maud...
Christmas Revisited
Last February, our last resident died and he house reverted from a Residential Home for the Elderly to a private house. On Christmas Day, there were just two of us swapping presents to the loud tick of the grandfather clock in the day room. If one of...
Curiouser and Curiouser
Curiouser and curiouser KAFKA ON THE SHORE by Haruki Murakami, translated by Philip Gabriel Harvill, £12.99, pp. 656, ISBN 1843431106 £> £11.99(plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848Haruki Murakami must be one of the most successful novelists in the world,...
Diary
Heathrow. Crawling back into the country like a whipped cur after another disastrous American book tour. Difficult to pick the most abject humiliation. Dallas, where just one person showed up for the event? Boston, where it was twice that number, but...
Don't Mimic Blair
It may seem trivial, when so many thousands lie dead on the shores of the Indian Ocean, but we are now perhaps 14 weeks from a general election, and it is time to consider the apparent - the appalling - success of the Labour government. In circumstances...
Eclectic Taste
Stephen Fry was on jovial form when he appeared on Private Passions on Radio Three on Boxing Day, approaching music with an unstuffy blend of reverence and dislike. He told the presenter Michael Berkeley that he'd had strong prejudices about music and...
Escaping Xmas
In Competition No. 2372 you were given 12 Christmassy words and invited to incorporate them, in any order, into a piece of prose that has nothing to do with Christmas. I take my judge's wig off to you all for the variety of scenarios you managed to conjure...
Finding Salvation
ExhibitionsFinding salvationBoom Boom ClustersSouthampton City Art Gallery, until 9 JanuaryA tragic love story lies behind the jovial title to this delightful exhibition, which unveils the David and Liza Brown Bequest, the largest ever received by Southampton...
Gamesmanship of the Mind
Gamesmanship of the mind THE ART OF ALWAYS BEING RIGHT: THIRTY EIGHT WAYS TO WIN WHEN YOU ARE DEFEATED by Arthur Schopenhauer Gibson Square Books, £9.99, pp. 204, ISBN 1903933617Not a manual for omniscience; rather the aim is always to appear right,...
General Fiction from France . .
On 30 August 2004 a woman wrote a letter to Le Figaro registering her dismay at the number of novels scheduled for publication in the three months that constitute the rentrée littéraire in France each autumn. She confessed that, although an assiduous...
Globophobia
The favourite fatuous gesture of loony councils in the 1980s was to declare themselves 'nuclear-free zones' - a title which happily they did not take literally, or else it would have meant local hospitals having to decommission their X-ray machines....
Hastings
As the year turns, the annual Hastings tournament returns. For many years this has been the UK's premier annual all-playall tournament at grandmaster level. This year a complicated new procedure has been adopted to decide on last-minute qualifiers and...
However Bad Things May Seem, the News for Newspapers Is Good
As another year looms, I cannot remember such despondency in what used to be called Fleet Street. It is not just that several newspaper groups are losing money: it was ever thus. There is talk of a general decline in newspapers. Some even suggest that...
It Was Tribalism That Finished Rome, and It Will Finish Brussels Too
Whenever the subject of the WEU comes up, someone is bound to compare it to the Roman empire. If the comparison relates to the beginning and subsequent development of that empire, it fails. But the end of the Roman empire in the West in the 5th century...
Letters
We are not evilFrom the Revd Fr Timothy Raddiffe OPSir: I am sorry that Steve ('We are all Pagans now', 18/25 December) believes that we Dominicans are evil. I expect he thinks that we are so awful because we are supposed to have run the Inquisition....
Let the People of England Speak
In the middle of December last year, five police officers turned up at the Welsh home of Nick Griffin, leader of the British National party, and arrested him on suspicion of inciting racial hatred.Griffin was driven to Halifax police station and forced...
Life and Letters
Opening Sentences (name the books)1) Aaron, Richard Ithamar (1901-1987), philosopher, was horn on 6 November 1901 at Upper Dulais, Blaendulais, Glamorgan, the son of William Aaron (1864-1937), a draper, and his wife, Margaret Griffith (d. 1940).2) When...
My Grubby Secret
We all notice those little signs of the passing years: the difficulty with remembering names, the growing interest in reading obituaries (and carefully scrutinising at what age the deceased passed away), the increase in visits to the dentist with the...
Neither Fish, Flesh nor Fowl
Neither fish, flesh nor fowl THE LAST DUEL by Eric Jager Century, £14.99, pp. 242, ISBN 0712661905 £12.99 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848According to a Yale professor, Eric Jagcr has invented a new genre with this book. I can see what he means. It's...
Pain and Pleasure
The so-called festive season is the time of year all serious drinkers dread. Their favourite pubs are filled with amateurs, largely consisting of braying office parties. It takes for ever to get served at the bar, and there is the ever-present danger...
Peacocks on Parade
So many outfits in so many shapes and colours; so many ruched tight trousers, or legs encased in flowing chiffon; sharp jackets in claret or blue velvet; frilled, slit skirts and shirts with enormous bows. Yes, men have worn all these since the 14th...
Recent Sporting Audio Books
Recent sporting audio booksThey don't make them like 'Fiery' Fred Trucman any more. Asked how he wanted to be remembered he replied, 'as t'finest bloody fast bowler that ever drew breath' - and he wouldn't be far wrong. Trueman was the first bowler to...
Religion Is Never Easy, and Sometimes It's Hard to Be a Truly Faithful Wagnerite
Two weeks ago, quite a few of us in London were at a religious occasion. On the face of it, this was unsurprising since it was just before Christmas. But few competing religious occasions would have had this one's air of reverence. It was the first night...
Striving Ever Upwards
Striving ever upwards G. F. WATTS: THE LAST GREAT VICTORIAN by Veronica Franklin Gould Yale, £40, pp. 458, ISBN0300105770 £38 (plus £2.25 p&p) 0870 800 4848George Frederic Watts (18171904), if never exactly popular, was regarded in his day as possibly...
Testing Time for Sky
With 2004's multinational motley done, dusted and delivered, other activities can bloom. The jingojangle palaver and babel of the Olympics, European soccer, and the Ryder Cup are now consigned to musty files, and a happy new year is herald to less hyperbole...
That's Rich
New YorkLest there be some of you that missed it, a lifelong dirty dealer is walking around us free as a bird, and there's nothing any of us who don't flout the law can do about it. Let's start the new year right and not be beastly to Mr Marc Rich. He...
The Bullet and the Ballot
BaghdadA month before the Iraqi election and Iraqi officials still claim they have the resistance on the run and that life for ordinary Iraqis is slowly getting better. Neither point is true. A better guide to the state of government morale is ministers'...
Was It All a Terrible Mistake?
The rooftop view from the sixthfloor office of the chairman of the British Council - at the cheaper end of The Mall up against Admiralty Arch encompasses the political landmarks of the new occupant. There's the Welsh Office, for the man's roots, halfway...
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.