Life, the universe and everything

George Walden wrestles with the Big Ideas in a sprawling Dutch landscape

Books: Soldiers, sailors and airheads

There's more to life than dropped names, says Michael Arditti; Never a Normal Man by Daniel Farson, HarperCollins, pounds 25

Words : Scandal


Painting pictures in Soho and Greenwich Village: books

Richard Davenport-Hines reviews two artistic Lives


Over the course of 60 years, Christopher Isherwood wrote more than a million words of diaries; after his death in 1986 his companion of 30 years, Don Bachardy, decided they should be published - uncut. As the first volume appears, Christopher Robbins talked to him in the Santa Monica house the couple used to share

Bacon's cardinal steps into the light

A major portrait from Francis Bacon's famous Papal series, in which he transmuted papal images into visions of insanity, has come on to the market for the first time in decades.

Portrait of the artist (with earring) as a pounds 10,000 winner

Award judges hail the renaissance of art form many thought dead

The artist formerly known as British

Paris has taken Francis Bacon as one of its own, a European painter with a vision of the uncertainties and fragmentation of the twentieth century, says Andrew Graham-Dixon


Five thousand people a day are going to see the new Bacon retrospective in Paris, the city which the artist always thought of as his mecca. Here, the show's curator reflects on the contradictions and the mystery in the work

What sort of devotees does an author such as Irvine Welsh have

Authors Under Threat, No 1. One's heart goes out to Irvine "Trainspotting" Welsh - literary superstar, voice of a generation, friend of Jarvis and Damien, world's most brilliant writer etc etc - whose street cred suffered a dent last week while on a tour of the UK to promote his new book, Ecstacy. A crowd of 600 twentysomething devotees piled into the Hacienda nightclub to hear the former junkie-desperado-lowlife-hardnut-visionary read his prose and answer questions about his life.

Music / Blood on the Floor QEH, London

For decades, jazz and classical music have eyed each other, yearning for a liaison neither dares initiate. Composers long for the articulacy and freedom jazz enjoys, jazzers want the status, if not the respectability, bestowed on composition. Mark-Anthony Turnage spent time studying with Gunther Schuller, who played with Miles Davis in the Fifties and came closer than most to fusing composition and jazz, a fusion that he labelled "Third Stream". Like Schuller, Turnage spent his teenage years adoring jazz, and now uses the orchestra with the exuberance of the best jazz orchestrators. Yet his music doesn't sound like jazz. Nor should it, unless he wants it to.

In the eye of; the beholder

What do our eyes and hands say about us? The French photographer Francis Giacobetti has made a lifelong quest out of anatomising, in brilliant detail, famous figures and their bodily parts - among them Stephen Hawking, Francis Bacon and Sylvie Guillem.Report by Jonathan Glancey

ARTS: EXHIBITIONS Foggy nights in London Town

John Deakin caught the bohemian spirit of Soho in the Fifties like no other photographer. A new show at the NPG celebrates his work

The curse of the drinking classes

Soho in the Fifties, a doomed, boho world, photographed by John Deakin and painted from his photos by Francis Bacon. As an exhibition of Deakin's work opens, one of the few survivors, Henrietta Moraes, recalls her racy encounters with both men


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The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

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Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

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