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.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 3 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 4 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star, dies aged 45
- 5 Businessman charged £75 for three small bottles of water in London hotel
Secret Cinema: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
Top Gear Burma episode breached Ofcom rules over Jeremy Clarkson's racial slur
Game of Thrones season 4 blooper reel unveiled at Comic-Con 2014
Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 teaser trailer sees Katniss lead rebellion against the Capitol
The Simpsons Family Guy trailer: First look at crossover episode after Comic-Con debut
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace