Arts and Entertainment

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

Whatever Happened to Modernism?, By Gabriel Josipovici

In 1987, soon after arriving at Oxford as a graduate student, I went to a talk by Gabriel Josipovici at New College. He was held in high regard as a critic; besides, he was a novelist – an author of avant-garde fictions that were striking, at least to me, for their brevity.

DVD: Army of the Dead (15)

From the people who brought you Chop Shop and Deadly Wordz, comes Army of the Dead, the sort of fare you may be unlucky enough to catch late at night on the SyFy Channel.

Dylan Jones: 'Over the past 25 years, irony it has dominated our pop culture'

While some like to say that irony was invented by Plato, as far as the entertainment industry is concerned, it reared its knowing, nodding felt head in the mid-to-late Eighties, roughly between the first sighting of Bruce Willis's smirk in Moonlighting, and Jack Nicholson's ya-gotta-love-me grin in Tim Burton's Batman.

Book Of A Lifetime: Berg, By Ann Quin

I first came to read Ann Quin's mesmerising 'Berg' by accident in 2001. I was browsing a favourite bookshop in Brighton, looking for rare editions of Blaise Cendrars. When I asked the bookseller if he stocked anything by Cendrars he simply shook his head and held up a Calder edition of Quin's 'Berg'. "Have you ever read Ann Quin?" he asked me. "No, who's Ann Quin?" I answered.

Of Mutability, By Jo Shapcott<br />Rough Music, By Fiona Sampson

Both these new poetry collections demonstrate their authors' interest in the genre that involves writing about other art-forms, ekphrasis. For Jo Shapcott, the work of the late avant-garde artist, Helen Chadwick, provides inspiration. The title's direct reference is not to Spenser's envoi to The Faerie Queene but to Chadwick's 1986 ICA exhibition, "Of Mutability".

Album: The Soundcarriers, Celeste (Melodic)

They claim not to be retro-modernist, in which case one can only admire them for their postmodernist attitude towards retrospection.

Bird on a Wire: Up-close and personal portrait of genius

A candid 1970s documentary on Leonard Cohen premieres this month. Chris Mugan despairs of today's bland rock films

Alain de Botton's modernism for the masses

Is the philosopher's new scheme to popularise contemporary architecture trivialising world-class design?

Sigmar Polke: Artist whose work confronted Germany's post-war demons

In 1964 the German artist Gerhard Richter gave an interview to a critic called John Anthony Thwaites in which he made a number of surprising revelations; among them, that his pictures had been used to torture inmates in concentration camps and had, by their sheer power, killed off Joseph Stalin.

Arifa Akbar: Fiona Banner's brilliant, brutal art

Just as Tate Britain revealed Fiona Banner’s Duveen Galleries commission this week – to fill the vast neo-classical space at the front of the London gallery – many art critics and correspondents braced themselves for sensationalism.

Matthew Bell: The <i>IoS</i> Diary (27/06/10)

Just like Glastonbury, only bigger

Book of a Liifetime: Fiona Sampson

The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell

And Then There Was No One, By Gilbert Adair

Gilbert Adair found his true calling with his trilogy of Agatha Christie knock-offs involving the lesbian novelist Evadne Mount. They are, in varying degrees, pastiche, tribute and form-fiddling self-indulgence.

Plastic fantastic: Clearly inspired design

Plastic is a symbol of our throwaway culture. But it has also transformed the world of design, a new book argues
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War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future
Berlusconi's world of sleaze: The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM

Berlusconi's world of sleaze

The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM
Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

Films and theme parks are just the beginning. Disney believes its control of the now decades-old franchise can bring in merchandise and marketing millions for years to come
Could the golden age of the gaming arcade ever be revived in the era of the Xbox?

Could gaming arcades be revived?

The days when coin-ops were the only way to play the latest video games are gone. But a small band of enthusiasts are keeping the button-pushing dream alive
Edinburgh Fringe 2015: The 'tampon tax' has inspired a new wave of female comedians to reclaim period jokes

Heard the one about menstruation?

Yes, if you have been at the Fringe, where period pieces are taking centre stage