Arts and Entertainment

Without question, the book that has most influenced my life has been Naked Lunch by William S Burroughs. I was astonished by the outrageous pot-head humour: crazy ideas taken way beyond their normal limits. The book was a savage indictment of American racism and consumerism, it dealt with the corruption, graft and lies of politicians with Swiftian humour. I had never read anything like, then or since.

Portrait of the artist as a scrofulous gargoyle

A new biography of the hermitic Nobel laureate is a triumph of scholarship and sympathy. By John Walsh

The awesome Welles

ROSEBUD: The Story of Orson Welles by David Thomson, Little, Brown pounds 20ROSEBUD: The Story of Orson Welles by David Thomson, Little, Brown pounds 20

proms round-up

Kurtg and Dillon

Public brings century's top authors to book

Survey will reveal the preferences of readers, rather than critics, writes David Lister

music Gyorgy Kurtag Usher Hall

Although his music is often anything but easy to listen to, Gyorgy Kurtag, paradoxically, represents what you might call the human face of the avant-garde. This is mainly because, however strange, elusive and downright bleak his work is, it always involves the listener emotionally in some way, as well as intellectually. This week in Edinburgh we had the chance to experience the curious charm of the composer at first hand, when he and his wife Marta themselves performed at the Usher Hall on Saturday in an evening devoted to his work.

Starting from Scratch...

Baby Fox are a PoMo pop trio with a trippy, skanking, feelgood summer vibe. Phil Johnson can hardly contain himself...

Can the slow-moving BBC survive in the brave new world? Mathew Horsman reports

The digital age has dawned, and there is no looking back. If the BBC gets its way, the public service broadcaster will be the undisputed market leader in the brave new world. Its blueprint for a digital future posits a world of mind-boggling choice, high quality and technological brilliance in which the Beeb will be Britain's digital diva, its best and its brightest.

BBC plugs into new age for television

The BBC yesterday staked its claim to a central role in the digital revolution, promising UK viewers wide-screen television, CD-quality sound and a 24- hour news channel in additional to its standard service.

Dig that trash

Tom Kempinski's challenging new play is set on a rubbish dump among scavengers. By Adrian Turpin

Literary giants, very small people

TELEVISION

Theatre: Between the lines

`Samuel Beckett's Happy Days reminds the actress and comedian Rebecca Front of university and other unavoidably grim aspects of life

how to perform the world's shortest play

At a pub quiz recently, I learnt that the world's shortest play was apparently one by Samuel Beckett (right) called 24 Seconds. Below, I've mapped out a few scenarios for shorter (if not necessarily better) works.

Another fine mess?

John Sessions and Robbie Coltrane play Laurel and Hardy. By James Rampton

Obituary: Brenda Bruce

Brenda Bruce was one of the most seasoned interpreters of the classics on the post-war stage. Whether in comedy or tragedy, fantasy or farce, she could be counted on to give a performance to relish.

Classical: Nono / Feldman London Sinfonietta Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Though often pilloried in their lifetime, purist-composers may expect a posthumous glow of fame. In a thoughtful programme last Friday at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the London Sinfonietta, conductor Markus Stenz, played late works by Luigi Nono and Morton Feldman, two notable purists who boldly went their own way and now, in our unadventurous times, have won respect for doggedly going against the grain.
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003