The Saturday Miscellany: Ulysses vs War & Peace; Mervyn King; Pizza Pilgrims; British Museum's Pompeii exhibition; Tracey Emin


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Culture clash: Books nobody finishes

Ulysses vs War & Peace

By Holly Williams

Leo Tolstoy's 1869 magnum opus checked in at over 1,200 pages… as you'd expect of a tome that weighty, it's epic and ambitious in scope, both personal and political. Much of it is also a rollicking good read –with swathes of romance and warfare – although the doorstop size has intimidated generations of readers.

James Joyce's 1922 modernist masterpiece may be stuffed with both toilet humour and semantic somersaults, but actually ploughing through 800 pages of classical allusions, experiments with form and linguistic verbosity is no easy task (although readers who make it to the final page are rewarded with Molly Bloom's resounding "Yes"). But it would be impossible to underestimate its influence: the novel was never quite the same again.

The Winner: Ulysses

The deleted emails of... Mervyn King (as read by John Walsh)

Sent: 20 June 2013
To: norman.jones@bankofengland
Subject: £50 notes

Norman, hi. Just back from boozy lunch at Trezh, Tresh, Jesus how do you spell it, Treasury with some chums, celebrating upcoming retirement. Over stickies had MARVELLOUS idea, much applauded by gathering. ‘S about the £50 note. You know (of course you know, youre head of currency) it used to feature pic of Sir John Houblon, first governor of Bank of Eng, until was changed in 2011.

At luhcn everyone said, Y not CHANGE IT AGAIN and put yrs trulys face on???!!?! I mneasn who are these people, James Watt and Mattheew Whatsever, whose faces currently residing there? Who knose or cares about them? It should be MEEE. If you need pix of 2 people, put me and Lady Barbara on flipping note, poss doing tango in Argentina. Oh go on, Norm. I need some ease in my life now, and I don’t mean quantative sort!!!

Love Mervyn


Instant Ethics

By Ellen E Jones

Dear Ellen

Q. Should I be offended or grateful when a man holds a door open for me?

A. Neither. Just say 'Thank you' and hold the door open for him next time. Or, if you prefer, continue rudely letting doors slam in people's faces, regardless of gender. Consistency is key here.



By Liam O'Brien


Sample Michelin-starred food and make artisan pizzas with the Pizza Pilgrims at Taste of London, 20-23 June, Regent's Park,


Cinemas nationwide are screening a tour of the British Museum's Pompeii exhibition – ideal for non-Londoners. 18 June,


Tracey Emin has created a charming digital portrait titled This Is My Favourite Little Bird. All proceeds go to the NSPCC., £50

Indy Index

By Liam O’Brien

- This year, there were a record 11 applicants for every apprenticeship vacancy in Britain.

- 32,600 apprenticeship vacancies were advertised between February and April, with 370,000 applications submitted.

- 41 young people – aged 16-24 - are applying for every plumbing opportunity.

- A recent list named plumbing as the 66 best job in the world. Actuary was top; newspaper reporter was 200 - the last placed job

- Small and medium-sized companies get government grants of £1,500 to take on a 16-24-year-old as an apprentice.

- 958,000 people aged 16-24 in the UK are unemployed, making the youth unemployment rate 20.7%

- In Greece, the youth unemployment rate is 59.1%, and in Spain it’s 55.9%. In Germany and Austria it’s 7.6%.

- Apprentices get a minimum wage of £2.65 an hour, but the average salary is £170 a week.

- In New York, hot dog vendors can earn up to $100,000 a year.

- In 2009, Ben Southall from Hampshire won the ‘Best Job in The World”, earning £70,000 in six months by looking after Hamilton Island on the Great Barrier Reef.


More apply for apprenticeships, AOL

Record 370,000 want to join apprenticeships, The Independent

Record 370,000 want to join apprenticeships, The Independent

Jobs Rated 2013: Ranking 200 Jobs From Best To Worst,

Apprenticeships attract 11 applications per vacancy, BBC

Youth unemployment statistics - Commons Library Standard Note,

Youth Unemployment, The Guardian

10 unusual jobs that pay surprisingly well, Forbes

Whatever happened to the man who got the best job in the world on a desert island paradise?, Daily Mail