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Peter Jackson and actress Saoirse Ronan promoting the film version of The Lovely Bones: the novel is told by an all-seeing narrator who is dead. Sergio Perez/Reuters

The rise and rise of the omniscient ‘I’

In an age of uncertainty, in which truth is apparently an illusion and all claims to authority are suspect, it is tempting to believe that a first person narrator telling their own story – in a style that…
Mourners gather at a memorial for victims of the Nice, France attacks. EPA/OLIVIER ANRIGO

Reading French literature in a time of terror

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?
Fan tributes on Oscar Wilde’s tomb. Chrissy Hunt/Flickr

The literary pilgrimage: from Brontëites to TwiHards

The desire to connect with literary places supports a substantial tourist trade. And the reasons why people embark on literary pilgrimages are as diverse as the kinds of fiction that inspire them.
A long list of commercial success stories has emerged from the self-publishing boom, sometimes with sales in the millions. Nicolas DECOOPMAN

Self-publishing matters – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise

It is still stigmatised, still seen as amateur, even as illegitimate, but self-publishing has truly arrived. We ignore it at our peril.
Creativity ‘does not somehow float free of economic gravity, miraculously aloft’. Fabio Zenoardo

Creativity might be playful – but it’s also work

The view that art is essentially unworldly and creativity is play has a long history, dating back to the Romantics in the 18th century. According to this view, art must be kept separate from money, lest…
Outside of perfume-makers, there are few artists trained in the art of smell. Image: Jessica Eucalyptus Quinnell

Olfactory art makes scents – and who nose where it might lead us?

Roses and rotten eggs, teen spirit or napalm in the morning: smells can both delight and horrify. Some scents are so bewitching that humans have gone to great lengths to obtain them. Take ambergris, essentially…
Land of the freedom fries, home of the brave. rikomatic

French say Non! to planet Hollywood

A spat between France and the US over international trade in music and films invites the usual stereotypes of Gallic snobbery versus the free market monster. But a closer look at the relationship between…

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