Voices Goggle box: the blocky looks of the Oculus Rift belie the breath-taking experience of what the wearer sees

This technology is about to change the way you perceive the world – and yourself

Dispatches from the theatre of war

What did Hair have to offer besieged Sarajevo? More than Waiting for Godot, perhaps. The playwright David Edgar reflects on the drama of conflict

ART / Speaking a different language altogether

Impressionism in Britain - Barbican, London

Bowery dies

Leigh Bowery, the muse and model of the artist Lucian Freud, died suddenly aged 33 on New Year's Eve.

Books: Best of both worlds

EAST, WEST by Salman Rushdie

Saving Graces

THE sculpture The Three Graces will stay in Britain after Baron Heinrich Thyssen- Bornemisza donated pounds 800,000.

Letter: God from the critical realist's perspective

Sir: David Boulton of the Sea of Faith network (letter, 6 August) is right in saying that it is not new to think of God, not as an eternal transcendent reality, but as a projection of our human ideals. The classic statement was that of Ludwig Feuerbach in the early 19th century, and the Rev Don Cupitt has been saying essentially the same for the past 14 years with the tolerant acquiescence of the Anglican Church - so that it now seems rather inconsistent of the Church to come down so heavily on the more vulnerable Rev Anthony Freeman.

CENTREFOLD / Through the keyhole darkly: Sivan Lewin exhibition walks the line between voyeurism and violation

Sivan Lewin's large-format colour photographs survey the private space of the home from the perspective of an intruder-voyeur. Comfortable interiors shot from the darkness of the street evoke the urban menace of the unseen threat, and the paranoia of surveillance-obsessed home-owners. We cannot be sure whether her subjects are potential victims of crime, targets of obsessive desire, or simply the random objects of idle curiosity.

BOOKS / Classic Thoughts: A joy stripped naked: Natasha Walter on Vladimir Nabokov's late great novel, Ada, which was published 25 years ago this month

EVERY WRITER is a slightly different beast to each of his or her readers, but many of Nabokov's critics seem to dress him up in a wolf's suit that makes him quite different from the lamb that I know. And nowhere is that more true than with Ada, his last major work. A fantasy novel full of wit and artifice, it was seen by one critic as 'a political allegory offset by linguistic legerdemain'. But what can be taken for a clever folly rides on its supreme simplicity: it is no more and no less than the greatest love story ever told.

Russia's realist goes home: Solzhenitsyn returns to Moscow on Friday and could once again influence the country that rejected him, says Vladimir Chuguev

TWENTY years ago Alexander Solzhenitsyn arrived in Frankfurt on a Soviet plane - handcuffed and accompanied by KGB thugs. The Soviet authorities thought this was the best way of getting rid of him. Deprived of his country, its people and its language, he would fade into obscurity.

BOOK REVIEW / Children's Books: Happy families and rare pigs: Maureen Owen on the best books for children

FOR ALL that the choice is so wide, show an adult a pile of books for seven- to 12- year-olds and they are likely to choose the ones fondly remembered from their youth. Who hasn't longed to recapture the magic world of fantasy which Ursula Le Guin once described as 'A vast and beautiful national park'? From the time their children are about seven years old, parents would do well to look out for new books. By the lavishly gifted William Mayne, for instance, who started writing for children in 1953 and is still producing some of the best books to be found. His latest, Hob and the Goblins (Dorling Kindersley pounds 8.99) about a house spirit who tidies away things like scraps of quarrels and pieces of spite before moving on to the sterner stuff of evil magic, is perfect for a good eight- or nine-year- old reader. While Low Tide, also by Mayne (Red Fox, pounds 3.50), is an exhilarating adventure story set in New Zealand at the turn of the century.

PRODUCTION NOTES / The set of The Kitchen: Mark Thompson, the designer who ripped out 140 seats at the Royal Court

'Stephen Daldry (director) was very keen to make the production of The Kitchen an event. He is renowned for big theatrical ideas - theatre with a big 'T' - and he came to me and said 'Will you do The Kitchen? I've got an idea that I'd like to push it out over the stalls and involve the theatre.' So the idea of putting scaffolding over the stalls came early on and was the crux of the whole design.

Contemporary Art Market: Photographic images show deceptive realism

THIS WEEK two of London's leading avant-garde galleries are showcasing photography, now considered as significant a medium for artistic expression as painting and sculpture.

Letter: Deceptive images

Sir: There is a poster campaign in London that depicts three middle- class men who are responsible for knocking their wives into casualty (Living, 11 February). The message is that assault is a crime, whoever you are.

BOOK REVIEW / Paperbacks: Before and After - Rosellen Brown: Sceptre, pounds 5.99

Mom's a doctor, Dad's a sculptor, the local police chief is their friend - none of which, it seems, stops young Jacob bludgeoning a teenage girl to death. Not classic courtroom drama, but something as gripping and more profound: a study of the middle-class nuclear family stretched to breaking point. Brown is an avid student of the ethics of crisis, and her realism in this disturbing novel makes your eyes water.
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month