The website that aims to let users 'annotate the world's text' has launched its first iPhone app following a spat with Google
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Saturday 02 October 2010
Sunday 15 August 2010
Sinéad Morrissey's 1996 debut volume, published when she was 24, marked her out as a poet to watch. Her exceptional fourth collection, Through the Square Window , more than fulfils that early promise.
Sunday 08 August 2010
Susan Hill's resolution to spend a whole year reading and re-reading nothing but the books in her house – no buying new paperbacks, no sneaky trips to the library – has resulted in this pleasantly opinionated memoir.
Friday 09 July 2010
It appeared that nobody who mattered was capable of being explained," Elizabeth Bowen wrote in an essay in 1946. "Thus was inculcated a feeling for the dark horse." Stress has often been laid on the "dark horse" aspect of Louis MacNeice - backed up, no doubt, by his equine handsomeness. Critical evaluation since his death in 1963 has tended to detach MacNeice from the 1930s pantomime-horse "MacSpaunday" group (with Auden, Spender and Day-Lewis) - a horse of a different colour - and restore his integrity as a poet.
Sunday 16 May 2010
Nigel Forde's poetry is, as the Hungarian-born peer George Szirtes says, "deeply English". These poems are mostly in a supple blank verse, sometimes decorated with rhyme; there are allusions to Shakespeare, Hardy, Keats and Herrick; and they are filled with images of the English countryside: streams, woods, owls, blackbirds, buddleia, moths, squirrels, rivers, moons and stars – lots of stars.
Friday 14 May 2010
As an undergraduate 45 years ago, I never missed Christopher Ricks's lectures. He was the most engaging expositor of poetry; what's more, he generally had time for serious conversation afterwards with any student who tagged along to the King's Arms. His book Milton's Grand Style taught many of us how to read poetry and was our oblique introduction to the ambiguities of William Empson: we got many things "at one remove" through Ricks as teacher and critic.
Thursday 08 April 2010
Giorgio de Chirico is one of the painters we know so well from all the reproductions we used to display on our walls when we were breathless students: those lonely, wind-swept piazzas, headless statues and tiny humanoids with their weirdly over-stretched shadows... In fact, as with so many other painters, his work often looks better in reproduction. The crudity of application is smoothed away. All we are left with is the strangely disturbing idea of the work itself, and – in the very best of his art – the bald, bold use of contrasting primary colours. Look at the poster created for this exhibition for example, or the laminated cover of the press pack. They are more arresting than the painting called The Enigma of the Arrival and the Afternoon that it used as its starting point.
Thursday 25 March 2010
A rare signed first edition of the first full-length work by author George Orwell has sold for £86,000, auctioneers said today.
Monday 01 March 2010
Wednesday 06 January 2010
Friday 02 October 2009
Friday 11 September 2009
Sunday 06 September 2009
The sixth in Qiu Xialong's Inspector Chen series, The Mao Case is the usual enjoyable mix of murder, poetry and contradictions of contemporary Chinese culture. Chen is asked by the Party to secretly investigate the whereabouts of a mysterious object that the granddaughter of one of Mao's old lovers is thought to possess. The carefully schizoid attitude to Mao is evident: all Chinese deplore the brutalities of the Cultural Revolution, but it's not allowed to blame Mao. Chen himself, no lover of Mao, rebukes a taxi-driver for speaking ill of him.
Sunday 30 August 2009
Tuesday 14 July 2009
I 'm going to do something irritating, which is to recommend an experience that you can't have. Or probably can't, anyway, the Manchester Festival production of It Felt Like a Kiss having sold out not very long after booking opened – on the strength, I take it, of a collaboration which pulls together three potent fanbases: admirers of Damon Albarn, who provides some of the music; devotees of Punchdrunk's site-specific theatre events and fans of Adam Curtis's uniquely suggestive political documentaries.
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