Arts and Entertainment

"Bo Burnham: What", Pleasance Grand, Edinburgh Fringe, August

Harriet Walker: To my generation, Union Jack pashminas are still post-modern

For anyone born between 1981 and now – namely, me – the current socio-political landscape is bewildering.

Gilbert and George – and the night they drank the Tate dry

The artists Gilbert and George spent nearly a tenth of the Tate Gallery's annual entertainment budget during a single boozy 1970s lunch with curators, archive material shows. The curators' excuse? It was research.

The Coincidence Engine, By Sam Leith

Alex Smart is a PhD maths student who takes a road trip across America to propose to his sweetheart Carey. Smart is clueless. For example - and most importantly - he doesn't know that there are no less than four investigative agents on his tail. Two are from an arms and security company, while the other pair work for the Directorate of the Extremely Improbable, an agency involved in the paranormal.

Business Diary: Perloff ramblings bemuse City

Andrew Perloff, the eccentric chairman of Panther Securities, is known for his forthright opinions, which included predicting the financial meltdown. In the property group's full-year results yesterday, he vented fully in a section appropriately titled "Chairman's Ramblings". Mr Perloff aired his opinion on subjects from BP and bankers, to an anecdote about George Best, only failing to reveal how they related to his company.

Written works of art

Authors and designers are coming together to turn novels into precious artefacts. Arifa Akbar handles with care

The Pale King, By David Foster Wallace

In his last, unfinished novel, David Foster Wallace pays attention to the fine detail of everyday mental activity

The Information, By James Gleick

I once saw the inside of a telephone exchange, an immense spaghetti junction of communication. It was more than an incomprehensible tangle: it was a mass orgy of crossed wires, a Dionysian riot for electrical impulses. While reading James Gleick's The Information, I was constantly reminded of that long-gone exchange and its tightly wound skein of criss-crossing cables.

The art of mutation

An exhibition by HRL Contemporary examines the nature of metamorphosis and hybridity in art. Matilda Battersby reports

The Afterparty, By Leo Benedictus

Celebrity satire with lots of style

DVD: Songs from the Second Floor (15)

Roy Andersson presents a bleak and absurd picture of Sweden in this film, first released in 2000.

The Fetish Room: The Education Of A Naturalist, By Redmond O'Hanlon & Rudi Rotthier, trans. Jane Hedley-Prole

This is a very odd but also engaging book. For a start, it is not written by Redmond O'Hanlon, despite his name appearing as one of the authors. Rudi Rotthier has written a profile of O'Hanlon and the publishers have clearly decided it will get more attention if thought to be autobiographical. The book is quite revealing enough. Indeed, one of the attractions of O'Hanlon is that, while some English travel writers value discretion to the point of self-effacement, he has always been both candid and funny.

Fresh notes on a scandal: BBC4's adaptation of Women in Love has a distinctly female focus

A spot of word-association. What springs to mind when you read the following: DH Lawrence, Women in Love and Lady Chatterley's Lover? It wouldn't be the wildest guesswork to suggest that Women in Love might be twinned with naked wrestling, Alan Bates and Ollie Reed grappling by the fireside in Ken Russell's 1969 movie, or Lady Chatterley with that 1960 obscenity trial. As for Lawrence himself, he has become almost totally synonymous with sex – an earthy, unrestrained, would-you-let-your-servants-read-it kind of sex, that is against the sniggering Carry On tradition of the British psyche. No wonder the French seem to appreciate him more than we do.

Grace Jones is a slave to the rhythm of postmodernism

Grace Jones's unconventionality obviously extends to her choice of maternity wear.

Wilkinson's transition is part of English evolution

This was always likely to be more primitive than post-modern, more grunt than grace. This was, after all, England v France, not the one-sided affair at Twickenham two weeks earlier that yielded eight tries against a porous Italy defence.

I Don't Believe in Outer Space, Sadler's Wells, London

The tone for William Forsythe's I Don't Believe in Outer Space is set by dancer Dana Caspersen, who acts out both sides of a conversation with such exaggerated physical and vocal mannerisms that she becomes a postmodernist Gollum act.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'