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.
TVJamie's Sugar Rush reveal's campaigning chef's new foe
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 2 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 3 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 4 Bob Geldof offers to take four refugee families into his home 'immediately' as he condemns humanitarian crisis as a ‘f**king disgrace'
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
The Gamechangers trailer: Daniel Radcliffe stars in GTA movie
Three million books were judged by their covers - this is what happened
Anne Hathaway is already being stung by Hollywood ageism, aged 32
No Escape, film review: Thriller generates plenty of excitement but soon collapses
The Lobster trailer: Colin Farrell has 45 days to find a lover or he'll be turned into an animal
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees