Sentimental Nihilism And Popular Culture

Commercial art forms may yet save the Western tradition from its propensity to self-destruction

Music Of The Future Cannot Ignore The Past

Composers who try to create culture in a vacuum will struggle to be heard by a hostile public

Saul Bellow’s Gift: A Life Of Observation

A new biography of the American novelist presents a comic genius who never claimed to be exemplary

The Return Of War

In the era of Putin and Islamic State, we shall have to  dust off Clausewitz and confront reality

How the Nazis Lost the War on the West

Three refugees saw the Third Reich as the enemy of civilisation. Today we can learn from their example

Father and son: the Herbert Read I knew

A filial memoir of Britain’s apostle of modernism in art

Our love affair with Anna Karenina

Leo Tolstoy's study of adultery is widely thought of as a romantic work. But don't send it to your lover

Strange Gods and the Old Devils

They cast their literary spells over a generation, but have Martin Amis and Ian McEwan merit as moralists?

Nadine Gordimer: ‘Comrade Madam’

A personal reminiscence of the Nobel laureate, whose anti-apartheid novels masked her own ruthless ideology

Poet Laureate of the English Shires

A hundred and fifty years after his death, John Clare remains the
greatest lyricist of country life

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"