Civilisation

“In the summer of 1980, in the grip of some Kerouac-ish fantasy, I opted to hitch-hike from Laredo to New York”

An iconic American art form is in crisis thanks to new writers pushing politically-correct storylines

Female artists are at last getting their fair share of exhibitions, but the market is failing to catch up

Inconsequential and vacuous, Cathy Wilkes is the perfect representative for Britain at the Venice Biennale

The forthcoming sale of a purported Caravaggio is set to exceed £100m, but its provenance is far from clear

“Heidi Tworek’s shrewd, erudite and timely News from Germany is a work of historical analysis that can also be read as a corrective to the dangerous hysteria over the information games—fake news and all the rest—currently being played over the internet.”

“How could one of the most civilised societies on earth become the instrument of a mind of such malice? I confess that my heart sank at the thought of spending any more hours in the company of this personification of radical evil. Yet we cannot wholly avert our eyes”

“If you start your account with such a humdinging narrative as the eruption of Vesuvius, then nothing is ever going to be as gripping again”

A posthumous collection of poems by Geoffrey Hill embodies a controversial but impassioned idea of what poetry is and does

When a gossip columnist criticised Thackeray, Dickens weighed in to savage his rival

A Florence exhibition celebrates one of the most influential artists you’ve never heard of

Nothing written is utterly without value, as I proved to myself by reading two random works

Having stolen a Klimt masterpiece, the Nazis could only show it if they hid the Jewish identity of its subject

A new thriller set in late-Stalinist Soviet Union has alarmed Russian authorities

A psychologist and sex therapist wonders where E.L. James’s celebration of sadomasochism comes from and what it means for human relationships  

A pivotal moment in British movie history — and Bob Hoskins’s greatest performance

Today’s anonymous conductors could take a leaf out of André Previn’s crowd-pleasing book

Only a few great composers are equally gifted writers: their work can be sacred or hatefully profane

The Concertgebouw’s trailblazing conductor sublimated his libido in worship of Hitler and Mussolini

Few of even the greatest writers have managed to capture the emotional, elusive, essence of music

Can society stand by and allow the technology that allows people to simulate sex with their neighbour?

Promoting demagogues of Left and Right makes for increased ratings but is bad for democracy

Eurosceptics lacked the integrity to acknowledge the consequences of leaving the EU’s single market

Hollywood has finally washed its hands of a sexual predator, a mere 40 years after his conviction

Ella Hickson’s new play is a clever—and technically inventive—portrayal of East Germany in the 1960s

Willy Loman is back in town, still pursuing the American dream, while Ibsen’s unhappy ghosts return too

A new production of Betrayal reminds us of the playwright’s insights into male relationships

Joshua Harmon’s new play about the struggle to get into top American universities could not be more timely