Books: Very good vibrations

`This is the Ulysses of rock'n'roll.' Ruth Padel comes back from the shaking showbiz underworld to hail a novel that really makes the earth move poetry anthologists to get over their and place

Words: 'n', conj.

LISA JARDINE is quoted in Prospect as being of the opinion that Shakespeare is "a pick `n' mix playwright". That this reduces him to the level of a cheap-candy stall in Woolworth's need not delay us (he has weathered worse, usually at the National), but it is instructive to compare this with a remark by Salman Rushdie in The New York Times: "Pick 'n' mix [is] at the heart of the modern, and hasn't it been that way for most of this all-shook-up century?"

Soundbites and slogans join great quotes of the age

THE SOUNDBITE has been acknowledged as equally important in the history of the 20th century as the seminal political speech or the utterances of the greatest scientists and inventors.

Leading Article: A time for cool heads

FOR GOVERNMENT policy to be decided in the midst of scandal and moral panic is not merely foolish, but irresponsible and dangerous. Legislate in haste, and the population will repent at leisure. The case of Stephen Lawrence was indeed appalling. The crime itself was horribly brutal, and the failure of the police to take effective action against the criminals afterwards grotesque. There is, as Geoffrey Robertson points out on this page, much good in the Macpherson report. Its recommendations on race policies, however, are often wrong-headed. The hyperbole from the right about "Thought Police" and "Orwellian nightmares" is predictable, but the fact is that some of the report's legislative proposals are excessive, ill-considered and dangerous. If implemented, they would represent an assault on liberal values.

Net Gains: Cronenberg's cronies

Roll up for Rushdie and Seth prize-fight

SALMAN RUSHDIE and Vikram Seth are to be pitched against each other in the contest for this year's Booker Prize, in a continuation of the literary world's passionate affair with the Anglo-Indian novel.

A Week in Books: How Plato started the fatwa business

Dame Iris can account for Rushdie's plight

The Saturday Essay: A free imagination, or the tyranny of the mob?

Ten years on, Rushdie has shown us how literature is forgotten amid the hatred of art that haunts this century

The column: Failing the test

Howard Jacobson used to be bowled over by all things Australian but his love has just run out - and headgear has an unreasonable amount to do with it

That was the century that was


Historical Notes: The Salman Rushdie of the Cold War

IF AMIDST the stock-taking at the century's end one man's life could take us through the age of extremes and personify the travails of millions, that man would be Arthur Koestler. As a writer he chronicled the century, as a man he lived it.

Police chief admits bias among officers to officers' prejudice

LLOYD CLARKE, Deputy Chief Constable of West Yorkshire, has joined the parade of high-ranking officers acknowledging institutional racism in their forces.

Cook relaunches ethical policy

ROBIN COOK relaunched his ethical foreign policy yesterday by announcing that Britain would campaign to eliminate torture throughout the world.

Jazz: Lyric Sheets

Recent revelations indicate that, at one time, the author Salman Rushdie hid from potential assassins in a gazebo in the grounds of Bono's clifftop villa near Dublin. The author's next book is reported to be about a rock group.
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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