Arts and Entertainment

The idea of The Great American Novel feels like an albatross around the neck of that country’s literature. Sooner or later every white middle-class male writer with any kind of reputation feels obliged to have a stab at it, usually with limited success. Eventually they think it’s time to pack away all the fun stuff like storytelling, energy and plot, and make some big state-of-the-nation address, telling people exactly how things stand in the good ol’ US of A. Interestingly, America’s women writers don’t tend to feel the obligation to grandstand so strongly, and their novels are usually all the better for that.

The reclamation of socialism is crucial for Britain's future

Ralph Miliband's philosophy as more relevant than ever

Labour should be standing up for students - but it's not

The Labour Party Conference has been another damp squib, and Ed Miliband risks losing a generation of voters

Tough talking as new Norwegian PM tries to form government

Erna Solberg, who is poised to become Prime Minister after the Labour premier conceded defeat in an election, faces tough negotiations with three other right-wing parties to form a government. 

Crime and Punishment at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow

Theatre review: Crime and Punishment, Citizens Theatre, Glasgow

The squalor unfolds before us like a wound, the stage stripped back and opened up to the red brick and rusted heating duct bones of the backstage area, the ten-strong ensemble cavorting around the fringes of the action at all times, populating the dive bars and crumbling tenements of 19 century St Petersburg with life and music and threat. At the heart of it all waits destitute former law student Raskolnikov, seemingly without hope or options as he ponders killing his merciless pawnbroker on the other side of the damp-flaked door before him.

Ofcom looks into complaints about Bauer magazine said to glorify German Second World War soldiers

Ofcom today said it is in contact with German authorities as it investigates whether Kiss FM owner Bauer is a “fit and proper” broadcaster, after complaints that it publishes a magazine that is said to glorify German Second World War soldiers.

Hollande driven by personal conviction on Syria

One side of François Hollande explains the other

Hollande: 'Reading the interview only increased my determination'

Syria crisis: Assad interview has increased my determination, says France President François Hollande

French President infuriated by 'threats' from Syrian leader - but he may follow Obama's example and wait for a vote

Francois Hollande comes under pressure to allow French Syria vote

President François Hollande came under pressure yesterday to follow Barack Obama and David Cameron and allow a French parliamentary vote on punitive air strikes on Syria.

The EU commissioner Olli Rehn said higher taxes would destroy growth

Tax rises in France have reached 'fatal' level, warns EU official

Olli Rehn urges cuts to spending as François  Hollande seeks to reduce deficit

‘Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that’ – the words of Bill Shankly, seen above at Anfield in 1969

Review: Red or Dead, By David Peace

A love letter to a great manager, an elegy to the beautiful game

Former treasurer to Spanish PM’s People's Party, Cristóbal Páez, admits slush fund pay

A former director of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party has admitted to a judge that he was paid out of a slush fund, fuelling opposition demands for a full parliamentary probe into the scandal that has rocked a government reeling from a persistent economic crisis.

French oil giant gives City a vote of confidence

London Mayor Boris Johnson put one over on the French President François Hollande yesterday as France’s biggest oil company said it would move its finance department from Paris to London.

Daniel Ellsberg, pictured centre in 1973, chose to stand his ground and was vindicated

What if Edward Snowden had stayed to fight his corner?

Out of America: The CIA whistleblower struck a blow for us all, but his 1970s predecessor showed how to win

Postcard from... Paris

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Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy