Jean Améry had always wanted to be someone extraordinary. Yet when he became just that, lauded by post-war writers, from Heinrich Böll to Alain Robbe-Grillet, Ernst Bloch to Günter Grass, Alfred Andersch to Ingeborg Bachmann, he still felt he had not achieved enough. He was the darling of the German media. Prizes and honours were raining down: from Switzerland, which had provided him with a living, working relentlessly hard, as a journalist and critic after his survival of the concentration camps; from Germany, the land not only of thinkers and high culture, but also of perpetrators, where he had not set foot during the intervening years; and even from Austria, from which he had been hunted "like a hare" in 1938, but where he returned to take his own life in 1978.
Welsh National Opera's light touch with a romantic comedy refreshingly ditches tradition and flirts with innovation
Thwarted love under canvas is both highly poetic and oddly provocative
Ben Ross calculates the appeal of traditional festive shopping in Europe
Cathy Packe advises on where to shop for presents in the open air. Revised for Yuletide 2009 by James Crichton-Smith
David Haye has insisted that he will not add his name to the long list of heavyweight challengers from the past five years who have lost and then claimed that they had no idea the champion was so tall.
Want to know what we'll be playing on Boxing Day 2010? The inventors and obsessives who get together each year for the world's biggest board game fair have all the answers. Tim Walker reports