Cultural Life: Sebastian Faulks, Novelist
Saturday 03 November 2012
In the Shadow of the Sword by Tom Holland, is an account of the growth of the Arab empire in and around the 7th century AD. The most fascinating aspect was how monotheism became an imperial tool – indispensable to Roman, Persian, Arab and Jew. If the Arabs had had to wait much longer for a voice-hearing prophet all their own, would they eventually have thrown in their lot with their fellow-Semites or with the fashionable new Christians? What a different world it would be.
I recommend Beasts of the Southern Wild, an American film directed by Benh Zeitlin about a little girl in a storm-tossed bayou off Louisiana. Also Wadjda, a film set in Saudi Arabia, about a schoolgirl whose great ambition is to own a bicycle. Finally a small British film called The Comedian, directed by Tom Shkolnik.
I like Sky Sports coverage of the rugby premiership and I like Stuart Barnes as a commentator. I mostly watch sport.
Damien Hirst at Tate Modern was dismal. The Gerhard Richter show, also at Tate Modern, had appalling audio commentary: literally nonsensical in places. The Leonardo at the National was as good as they said, and I saw a good Degas at the Musée d’Orsay.
Sebastian Faulks’s ‘A Possible Life’ is out now.
Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Katie Hopkins gives rare glimpse of sensitive side with heartfelt open letter to her children penned in case she dies from epilepsy
- 2 Rihanna's Met Gala dress took one Chinese woman 2 years to make, was reduced to omelette meme in 2 seconds
- 3 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
- 4 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
- 5 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Penny Dreadful, series 2 episode 1, review: It is still gloriously silly
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
Eurovision 2015: What date and time is the song contest and who are the favourites to win?
Indiana Jones sequel confirmed by Lucasfilm - but will Harrison Ford return to the franchise?
How the Other Half Eat, Channel 4 - TV review: Swapping food trolleys shows how food and class are closely connected
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils