ARTS : THE CRITICAL LIST : THIS WEEK'S RECOMMENDATIONS

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The Independent Culture
The opera

Which big opening is in poor taste? Is it a) Schnittke's Life with an Idiot (ENO, Sat), in which a Soviet couple's resident half-wit seduces wife and husband before lopping off the woman's head? Or b)Wagner's Siegfried (Royal Opera, Mon), in which the bastard of incestuous siblings kills a giant and a dwarf and then beds his auntie? Answers on a postcard...

The book

So here it is then - the book that launched Martin Amis's teeth as a subject of legitimate critical discussion. In case you've been in Tibet or space or something recently, The Information concerns the hatred of a "literary" novelist for a more successful and populist contemporary. It's already made Amis rich (well, richer), and earnt him another appearance in Pseuds' Corner.

The gig

Although another grizzled American will dominate review pages this week, chances are the loudest blast will be felt at the well-named Garages in London (Tue, Wed) and Glasgow (Fri), and the Music Box in Edinburgh (Sat). Dick Dale, King of Surf Guitar and minstrel to Quentin Tarantino, is the man with the twang and a Fender Twin Reverb set to overload.

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