Arts and Entertainment

Where are you now and what can you see?

I’m at the BBC recording Front Row and apparently I’m looking at a brass bust of Henry Wood. The statue is in the foyer.

A happy tale of book value

Alternative investments: buy that new novel now - you may find yourself with a lucrative rarity

Cut it out

As BBC2 this evening shows the second part of a documentary history of British film censorship, several former British Board of Film Classification examiners have broken their silence on years of acrimonious disagreement within the BBFC between the majority of the examiners and the senior management.

Amis calls in the money man

The country's coolest novelist has set book publishers quivering by his choice of agent to win him £500,000. John Walsh reports strap includes john walsh byline

BOOK REVIEW / Imaginary journeys of a daydreamer: 'The Daydreamer' - Ian McEwan: Cape, 8.99

THE GREAT dreamers of literature - from Don Quixote to Walter Mitty - win us over not with charm or brainpower but by the sheer force of their foolishness. In a world dominated by cynical and knowing realists they offer guilelessness as a virtue and remind us that innocence is superior to experience, that only bores see windmills where they could, if they wished, see giants.

BOOK REVIEW / Vanishing cream: 'The Daydreamer' - Ian McEwan: Cape, 8.99 pounds

IN THE dystopic, not-too-distant future that is the setting for Ian McEwan's 1987 novel, The Child in Time, a 49-year-old Tory junior minister regresses to short-trousered, catapult-brandishing boyhood, withdrawing from the world of telegrams and anger to a makeshift treehouse. His middle-aged infantilism is meant to represent what can happen when the virtues of immaturity are prevented by authoritarian codes of child- rearing from being carried over into adulthood.

In a world made by adults

HAVE children ever been more demonised than they are today? 'Little horrors', people call them, and hardly a day goes by without some story of brutality and lost innocence: six-year-olds wrecking a house; an eight-year-old holding up a sweet shop at gunpoint; a 12-year-old raping a pensioner. Above all, there was the Bulger case: abduction, murder, two 11-year-olds truanting from childhood straight to hell. 'Evil', said the tabloids. One policeman compared them to the Krays.

A CRITICAL GUIDE / Video

NEW RELEASES

The Hay Festival

The Independent and the Independent on Sunday are the new sponsors of the Hay Festival, which takes place in Hay-on-Wye from 20-30 May 1994. It is one of the largest literary festivals in the world, and this year there will be more than 200 writers and performers taking part in more than 100 events.

James Bulger: The death of innocence: There are no meanings to be found in James Bulger's murder, says Geraldine Bedell, except that it shows us hell

'THESE two monsters could have been your children,' screamed the headline in France Soir on Thursday. And this has been the fear that has gripped the imagination this past week: that those boys, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, with their smooth skins, their school uniforms, their soft mouths, could have been any children, given different circumstances. All children experiment, test out their power, wonder 'what if?'. Did James Bulger's murderers simply experiment too far? Did they find themselves caught up in an afternoon of destruction from which there seemed no escape but further, and more final, violence? Was the coming together of those three children at the Strand shopping centre in Bootle on 12 February simply an aberration? Or does it offer lessons that could prevent its ever happening again?

Book prize-winner loses out

PARIS (Reuter) - The cream of France's feminist literati yesterday awarded their annual Femina book prize to a male writer, Marc Lambron - but he may not be altogether pleased. Literary commentators said he stood to lose a lot of money by being a pawn in the 90-year battle for supremacy between France's two oldest literary prizes, the Femina and the Goncourt.

FILM / 'I thought nothing could possibly go wrong. Huh]': Ian McEwan was happy with his first Hollywood film. It was small, but classy. Then along came Macaulay Culkin's dad . . . Sabine Durrant reports

Macaulay Culkin, the million-dollar-bairn with the sticky-out ears, has a new film this autumn. It's called The Good Son and it's making everyone 'very excited'. The studio is backing a 'teaser' campaign, the Culkin clan is celebrating Mack's agility in a serious role and the audience at the try-outs started talking to the screen - which is a good sign, apparently. But the scriptwriter, the British novelist Ian McEwan, is not excited. He hasn't seen the film - from which he considers himself 'sacked' - and he will not be going to LA to celebrate the opening. 'When I read that I've sold out and am writing movies for Macaulay Culkin,' he says stiffly, 'that I'm 'prostrating' my talent, I bridle. For one thing, I wrote the script when Macaulay Culkin was five years old.'

TELEVISION / Author] Author]

JOHN UPDIKE looked very pleased with himself on The Late Show last night (BBC 2) but then how would you not, if you were him? A novelist of extraordinary, magisterial powers, he is capable of lifting weights that would leave lesser artists gasping, and yet the serene authority of his prose never wavers. Throughout his conversation with Ian McEwan he had a tight, secretive smile on his face - suggestive of a private amusement at the conceits of the world - whether he was talking about the absurdities of sex or the gravity of human guilt. To anyone who didn't know the novels, this Olympian affability might have been a little off-putting but it seemed unlikely that anyone but devotees would be watching.

BOOK REVIEW / New blood, not much bite: 'Suckers' - Anne Billson: Pan, 4.99 pounds

SAY WHAT you like about the Best of Young British Novelists malarky (and why not? everyone else has), as a promotional ploy it seems to be working. Here is a first novel whose racy title and foil encrustations might normally earn it little serious critical notice. But the name on the cover is Anne Billson, one of the 20 newly anointed; ergo sudden, if provisional, respect.

BOOK REVIEW / Brief encounters, strange meetings: Nicolette Jones tries the season's best shorts

PUBLISHERS have been known to declare that short stories are uncommercial and that people want only novels. But anthologies of short fiction are back in fashion, perhaps because stories are suited to our pressurised lives: you can read an entire tale on the bus or in bed or at the hairdressers.
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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project