Arts and Entertainment

It's worth remembering that fairy tales were not originally thought of as children's stories.

It's Woodstock, a celebration of writers and their words

More than 100 leading figures from the literary world will take up residence next month amid the majestic surroundings of Blenheim Palace for The Independent Woodstock Literary Festival 2010.

Authors welcome halting of paedophile database

Philip Pullman, the children's author, has accused the Labour government of using the murders of two Soham schoolgirls in 2002 as a "scare story" to persuade the public that it was necessary to create a database of adults who work with minors.

Who chooses the set-texts our children study?

As pupils do some last-minute swotting up ahead of their English GCSE exams, former teacher Susan Elkin examines the changing nature of the syllabus

Nevin's Notes (05/05/10)

>An alternative take on the election

Cultural Life: Fatima Bhutto, writer

Books: Haifa Zangana's 'Dreaming of Baghdad', a lyrical and chilling memoir of imprisonment, activism and torture in Saddam's Iraq. Also tucked into my bag, which now weighs a ton, are 'Listening to Grasshoppers' by Arundhati Roy and Philip Pullman's 'The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ' and Alba Arikha's work, which I'm discovering and loving.

Sarah Sands: Marriages founder on trivia but are immune to the Pope

The initial reluctance of Miriam Clegg to campaign with her husband was cited as evidence of her down-to-earth modesty. She had "got real" about the everyday demands of a working mother. Since then, there have been clues that the balance of power is elsewhere in this relationship.

The Week In Radio: What would Jesus have made of it all?

There's a saying they have in America that is used to fit all occasions: What Would Jesus Do? What Would Jesus Drive, for example, or What Would Jesus Vote? One programme this week asked What Would Jesus Eat?, and the suggestions, according to painters of The Last Supper, included grilled eels, crayfish and guinea pig. This prompted me to wonder what Jesus would listen to, and to hope it wasn't Monday's Start the Week.

Jesus Christ, superstar: Still the biggest – and most controversial – name in art

Philip Pullman's new novel is the latest creation to court controversy over its depiction of Jesus. Paul Taylor looks at how the artists, from Martin Scorsese to Rufus Wainwright via Monty Python, deal with the subject

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, By Philip Pullman<br />The Four Gospels

To get hold of Philip Pullman's book from its Edinburgh publisher, I had to sign a legal undertaking that made me liable to penalties "under the laws of Scotland" should I dare to breach its terms. Like all of us, Pullman needs and uses the force of traditions and institutions (what he names here as "custom and authority") to protect his dignity and his interests. You might hear from other sources that this re-telling and re-interpretation of the Gospel narratives for Canongate's "Myths" series sets the spontaneous, impulsive goodness of Jesus against the power-mad, repressive apparatus of the "church", which Pullman embodies in the figure of Jesus of Nazareth's sinister twin brother, "Christ". In fact, this story about the meaning of stories is open to quite the opposite interpretation – and Pullman knows it very well.

Boyd Tonkin: A velvet revolution on the shelves

The Week In Books

Album: The White Stripes, Under Great White Northern Lights (Third Man/XL)

As the notion of concert performance retreats ever further into the pre-programmed bowels of a computer, the great live album is virtually a thing of the past.

E Jane Dickson: You don't need to teach kids about advertising

Teach a child to count and he&rsquo;ll soon get the hang of commercial constraints

Mary Dejevsky: It is not only the young who suffer

The plight of innocent children is used as a way to infiltrate hearts &ndash; and wallets

Climbdown over plan to vet contact with children

Nationwide outrage kills off scheme that could have criminalised millions of innocent helpers

Traveller's Guide To: Lapland

Santa may be the big draw in this vast wilderness, but there is culture, wildlife and a magnificent light show to enjoy too, says Harriet OiBrien
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform