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Speeches in the House of Commons by the Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg are an erudite comedy turn. As MPs debated the European Union (Approvals) Bill (Lords), which writes into British law two draft regulations passed by the Council of the European Union, only he thought it necessary to read into the official record part of what one of the regulations actually said.

Books: A walk on the dark side

Gothic fiction, says John Sutherland, is a moving target; A Geography of Victorian Gothic Fiction: Mapping History's Nightmares by Robert Mighall OUP pounds 45

Books: The self at a safe distance

Adam Phillips tells Anna Picard about loss, the literati, and why he wants to `do a Salinger'

Classical Notes: Oedipus' fate was in his genes - and he knew it

IT IS no longer fashionable to want to kill your father and sleep with your mother. In Freudian terms, the ancient myth of Oedipus is today looking a little tired, though of course we do owe the founder of modern psychology some thanks for being able to say boo to taboos. Today, Oedipus would have counselling and sell his story to the tabloids.

Dance: Freudian slips can make for giant leaps

Cullberg Ballet: Giselle Playhouse, Edinburgh Meg Stuart: Appetite Festival Theatre Edinburgh

Goodnight Vienna

Days before Sigmund Freud fled the Nazis in 1938, and took refuge in England, Edmund Engelman made this photographic record of the apartment where psychoanalysis was born. Here he recalls that visit

A thrilling new fictional form: the bite-size novel

Teddy Carew was an upper-class twit with a streak of evil who liked inflicting pain on girls

Books: A journal of two very different hearts

Affinity by Sarah Waters Virago pounds 9.99

Letter: Tim's mission

Letter: Tim's mission

Poppy Folly Your Stars: It Could Happen

You can tell most of what you want to know about this unfortunate sign by looking them up in a rhyming dictionary: "Taurus: `bore us', `how pleased we are when they decide to ignore us', and `can't sing or dance particularly so put them well in the back of the chorus'." They cite, respectively, Terry Southern, Bianca Jagger and Bing Crosby and this shows how rhyming lexicographers are a third less accurate in their grasp of character than metropolitan astrologers.

Television: Shock treatment

A haunted orphan with a junkie sister: and that's just the doctor. A new drama has a novel approach to mental health

Sympathy for the Dysfunctional: the American cartoons that ate the world

The original satire on the cosy suburban sitcom, the Simpsons family is dysfunctional but sympathetic. To begin with, the focus was on young Bart's problematic behaviour but, as the show developed, his dad Homer became the central figure. His stupid, selfish, profoundly passive response to the world makes him one of the most profoundly human characters on television. Key Homer quote: "Donuts - is there anything they can't do?"

Column: A good idea from ... Freud

THE OTHER night, at a party, I bumped into a beautiful woman called Rachel who was in the kitchen looking for a drink. She was about 29, had shoulder-length brown hair, pale skin and watery blue eyes - and it soon became obvious that she was very much in love with me. I noticed this early on in the conversation. There was something in the way she said "cranberry juice" when I asked her what she wanted to drink which proved the strength of her desire. And when she abruptly ended our short chat, saying, "I've got to go and join my boyfriend in the next room, bye," and walked out quickly (or ran out), there was no longer any doubt about the depth of her love for me.

Books: Shards of a shattered city

The Plato Papers by Peter Ackroyd Chatto & Windus, pounds 15.99, 140pp; Seen from a mythical age, far in the future, London today looks like a bad dream. John Clute celebrates one major writer's flight of fancy...

Books: Imbiber at the fountain of fantasy

Futuristic fantasy; Wellsian dystopia; satire-cum-soul searcher; mantric realism - whatever Peter Ackroyd's new book may be, it cannot go out and take its place in the world, as the jacket declares it, as a "novel". If not for any other reason than that, in a literary Magimix age where fiction and biography melt the borderlines of fact and invention, and the coming of the virtual age promises us eternal uncertainty, there is nothing novel to be found in this reconstruction of a future from the distant past. The characters have been here before. The hero, donning an orator's mask, bears the name Plato. The fragments of a long-dead world he investigates are recognisably a part of the world of Peter Ackroyd - that is to say, London.

The Sketch: Freudian-slip funsters find asylum in chamber of errors

"MENTAL ILLNESS is as common as asthma," announced Frank Dobson yesterday. "It affects as many as one in six adults at any one time."
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Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable