The Diary: Paul Auster; Jerry Moffat; Punch magazine; Penny Woolcock

No peace prize for a divided America

The New York novelist Paul Auster has declared "civil war" amid the Obama-bashing currently taking place in Middle America. "I really thought when Obama was elected, the civil war would be over. We are not fighting with bullets but this country is deeply divided. I thought his election proved that forces of progress had won but it seems that it has only made divisions more rancorous." So poisonous is the atmosphere, he says, even in America's most liberal city, that he likened it to the Vietnam War. "I have never seen the country so divided, maybe during the Vietnam War it was similar." Auster said he was not among the cynics who thought Obama hadn't done enough to deserve his recent Nobel Peace Prize: "I thought, fine, who else has promoted peace as much? I think he's a remarkable person, he has done a lot of things... he's talked to the Arab world directly, he walked into this job when it looked just like were facing a 1929-style crash. He is trying to make medical care reforms." Obama still has one fierce fan.

Naked ambition

Jerry Moffatt, the man who made his name from intrepid rounds of mountain-climbing (and earned his notoriety after he appeared naked and tangled up in climbing rope in 'On the Edge' magazine) has won the Grand Prize at the 2009 Banff Mountain Book Festival arguably the most prestigious prize in mountain literature. He won the accolade for his autobiography, 'Revelations', and it would be most enlightening, given the title, to find out if he discusses how he came to be tied up with rope for the edgy photo call.

History repeated

A cartoon expressing fears about British involvement in Afghanistan, featuring a picture of John Bull being pulled by the nose into an Afghan pass, may seem topical to us today, yet it was drawn by Sir John Tenniel for 'Punch' magazine in 1878, so goes some way to proving the repetitions of history. The cartoon was accompanied by an imagined conversation between the unhappy bull and its drover, the then Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli. It is for sale at Lowell Libson Gallery in London.

Best of British from Basingstoke

Proteus Theatre Company, based in a pre-fabricated hut in Basingstoke, with only two full-time staff members who have spent years touring the villages halls of rural England, has been selected to take their one-man, part-circus show, 'Merrick, The Elephant Man', to the prestigious Brits off Broadway festival in New York this month. The play has already been highlighted in the 'New York Times'. It will be staged with six others billed as the best regional productions to emerge from Britain in the last year, alongside a line-up that includes Alan Ayckbourn's 'My Wonderful Day'. The play is a re-working of the original with a modern-day reference to the cult of celebrity. Its producers say that had Merrick been born today, he would be gracing the pages of 'Heat' magazine.

Accused of projecting negative images

The film-maker Penny Woolcock faced another setback after police in Birmingham condemned her film '1 Day' for its "negative stereotyping" of the city's gang culture, and local cinemas pulled the plug on its screening (reported in last week's 'Independent'). Now, it has transpired that police were called to a screening of the film at the International Black Festival in Birmingham. A source said police halted proceedings and took a head count. When Woolcock asked why this had happened, she was told it was "because we heard there were problems with the projector".

News

literature

News
Dermot O'Leary attends the X Factor Wembley Arena auditions at Wembley on August 1, 2014 in London, England.

television

News
news
Arts and Entertainment
At this year's SXSW festival in Austin, Texas

Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing

Arts and Entertainment
Russell Tovey, Myanna Buring and Julian Rhind Tutt star in Banished
tvReview: The latest episode was a smidgen less depressing... but it’s hardly a bonza beach party
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv Some of the characters appear to have clear real-life counterparts
News
Brooks is among a dozen show-business professionals ever to have achieved Egot status
people
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
A cut above: Sean Penn is outclassed by Mark Rylance in The Gunman
film review
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael

Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the movie 'Get Hard'
tvWill Ferrell’s new film Get Hard receives its first reviews
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)
tvReview: Ian Grieve gets another chance to play Gordon Brown... this is the kinder version
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Because it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without people kicking off about the headline acts, a petition has already been launched to stop Kanye West performing on the Saturday night

music
Arts and Entertainment
Molly Risker, Helen Monks, Caden-Ellis Wall, Rebekah Staton, Erin Freeman, Philip Jackson and Alexa Davies in ‘Raised by Wolves’

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Game of Thrones will run for ten years if HBO gets its way but showrunners have mentioned ending it after seven

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
Mans Zelmerlow will perform 'Heroes' for Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth (Heida Reed) and Ross Poldark (Aiden Turner) in the BBC's remake of their 1975 original Poldark

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall

Mexican government reportedly paying Bond producers for positive portrayal in new filmfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Disney’s flying baby elephant is set to return in live-action format
filmWith sequels, prequels and spin-offs, Disney plays it safe... and makes a pachyderm
Arts and Entertainment
Nazrin with Syf, Camden
photography
News
The QI Elves photographed at the Soho Theatre. They are part of a team of researchers who find facts for the television programme 'QI'.
people
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv0-star review: Sean O'Grady gives it his best shot anyway
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss