Country's Interior Ministry denies responsibility
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Sunday 20 February 2011
Thursday 17 February 2011
Friday 28 January 2011
Deadpan and droll, cantankerous and kind, the voice of Orwell's letters never sounds very far from the tone of his books in this rich collection of correspondence - beautifully edited and annotated by Peter Davison.
Friday 07 January 2011
In her introduction to this vast, immaculately produced book, its editor Katherine Bucknell notes that Christopher Isherwood's handwritten diaries, which he maintained at great daily length (excepting a "wild" spell in the late Forties), contained "hardly any mistakes of any kind. The diaries are an endless transcript of life – without blot, without error, without misstatement, without verbal crime." As with the essays of his contemporary George Orwell, you could read this book as a primer on style. Bucknell points out that "page upon page reflect the clarity of his mind, his absolute mastery of syntax, his easy ranging, precise diction, his effortless power of description."
Friday 03 December 2010
Friday 26 November 2010
When hip-hop artists stand in a circle and rap it's called a cypher," says Mobo award-winning artist Akala, who will be part of two events at the British Library this evening; a one-off language-based panel discussion, Voices of Hip-Hop and Late at the Library. "It's a common hip-hop word which came from the Islamic influence on hip-hop culture, and it's just one of tons of examples of the impact of hip-hop on the English language and the way people use that language."
Wednesday 24 November 2010
The new leader of Britain's biggest trade union attacked the "culture of fear" at British Airways today as he launched a drive to discover the level of "bullying and harassment" against cabin crew.
Thursday 07 October 2010
As Cassandra, his column graced the pages of the Daily Mirror for 35 years, firing out opinions and jokes with a pugnacity that delighted as many as it infuriated.
Sunday 19 September 2010
VS Naipaul first visited India, home of his ancestors, in 1962. Twenty-six years later he returned, and this is a long, detailed, thoughtful account of the changes he found, first published in 1990 and now reprinted for the 35th time.
Friday 03 September 2010
Henry Fairlie, who died at the age of 66 two decades ago, is remembered with awe by a few fellow journalists of his era. Born of a Scottish journalist father, he rapidly climbed the heights of British journalism before embarking for America in 1966, where he wrote mainly for the Washington Post and the political journal, New Republic. Linking his name with George Orwell, Hendrik Hertzberg of the New Yorker maintains that his political essays "can induce something like ecstasy."
Thursday 02 September 2010
This week, what passes for political debate in this country has, according to its protagonists, been a "soap opera" between "old", "new" and "next" Labour. Last week, everything hinged on whether or not the Coalition's Budget was "progressive". A few weeks earlier, acres of newsprint addressed our Prime Minister's use of the phrase "middle class". Nobody knows what any of these terms mean, least of all those who initially submitted them for public consideration. "Progressive" is related somehow to protecting the poor; "middle class" is so abused and polysemous as to be nothing more than a badge of honour among the unthinking rich. Our political language is not in a good state.
Sunday 08 August 2010
Tuesday 27 July 2010
A bleak warning about the dangers of Stalinism told through the perspective of a farmyard of mutinous pigs may not seem the most heartening setting or subject for a West End musical.
Tuesday 22 June 2010
Saturday 05 June 2010
Over the years, any number of artists, writers and film-makers have laid out their visions for the future of the world in which they were living. In the late 1940s, in an almost uncanny anticipation of what was to come, George Orwell penned his account of a land blighted by pervasive government surveillance, with the classic novel 1984. In 1981, the director John Carpenter gave us the sci-fi action movie Escape From New York, in which the city had been transformed into one big maximum security prison. And who could forget Prince's worldwide hit "1999", in which "the sky was all purple" and there were "people running everywhere".
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Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
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