Music and politics have long been intertwined and political patronage can sometimes lead artists to self-censor. On the other hand, some musicians are just more interested in entertainment than politics.
Ancient poems were accompanied by a musical instrument called the lyre – from which we get the word 'lyric'. 'Literature' and 'poetry' are categories of our own making - so moving beyond them in a major award seems long overdue.
The MTV music video awards will be held on Sunday, putting this under-rated genre in the spotlight. Videos are inseparable from music in the digital age and the best examples deserve to be taken seriously as works of art.
The French novel uniquely blends social critique, personal struggle, entertainment and aesthetics – underpinned by an irony that winks at human weakness. Can it help us in these dark days of extremist violence?