Voices 'Selfie': One of the peculiarities of the past few months has been how the idea of taking a photograph of your own face has become something new and interesting

'Banter', 'Aspiration', 'Selfie'? Not this year, thank you very much

BOOKS / Classic Thoughts: Brains thrill to the core: Lucasta Miller on Charlotte Bronte's Villette (1853)

UNLIKE Jane Eyre, which has become one of the iconic love stories of popular culture, Charlotte Bronte's Villette is an acquired taste. Matthew Arnold thought it 'hideous, undelightful, convulsive'. Harriet Martineau found it 'almost intolerably painful'. Indeed, far from reflecting the sentimental, purple-heathery image which the Bronte sisters have since acquired, Villette is irreducibly disturbing.

Talk of the trade: A name to remember

THE Canadian brewery Labatt's has completed a pounds 2m sponsorship deal with Apollo Leisure, giving it exclusive rights to distribute its lagers at Apollo's rock venues in Manchester and London, plus a logo on the two buildings. Fair enough; but why can't it leave the names of these small pieces of cultural history alone? The Hammersmith Odeon - where most of the big names in music, including the Beatles, have played - had already been renamed the Hammersmith Apollo. Now it is to be called the Labatt's Apollo. When will companies putting money into popular culture realise that the names of these venues have a resonance that they have no right to destroy?

Show success

The Royal Academy's annual report showed that the Pop Art Show put on in association with the Independent attracted 263,740 visitors, the largest attendance for an exhibition at the academy in the past year.

THEATRE / Beg - BAC, London SW11

Part sinister fairy-tale and part shaggy-dog story, Peta Lily's brilliant tour de force probes the dark recesses of the mind where sexual fantasies take root, fed on a rich diet of popular culture. We are in Angela Carter's Bloody Chamber, but there's also more than a touch of The Real Inspector Hound, as Dr Penelope Second (Lily), the surgical gynaecologist who has invented a unique form of stitching, is investigated by the lunatic detective Stiltskin for the macabre murder of her former lover, Dr John Lord. Aided and abetted by Philip Pellew, who gamely plays all the other roles from a dog to a corpse, Lily builds a compelling portrait of a multi-faceted woman whose cool exterior hides a throbbing subconscious where father fixations become entwined with childhood memories of Little Red Riding Hood. David Glass's good-looking production - half dream, half nightmare - makes inventive use of a musical soundtrack which is pure movie magic and builds to a shuddering and shocking climax.

BOOKS / Poetry: Carol Rumens on two exciting new collections

LIVING in Cumbria, William Scammell faces the dilemma of the poet whose habitat has already become literature. In these post-modern times, ignoring the notables and quotables at your shoulder is scarcely an option, though. Bleeding Heart Yard (Peterloo pounds 6.95), his latest volume, provides a genial 'open house' for many, from William Wordsworth, famous for 'walking sideways, / going boom boom boom' to Ken Russell, 'brandishing his Panaflex / at Mother Nature's teeming sex . . . '
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee