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Sonmi (Doona Bae) and Hae-Joo Chang (Jim Sturgess) in the film version of Cloud Atlas
The Great English Novel is dead. Long live the unruly, upstart fiction that’s flourishing online
By Laurie Penny - 24 July 10:00

The reason I’m so excited David Mitchell is writing on Twitter is that he’s one of the few authors who really understands how the medium, as well as the message, makes the story.

As trains regain their prestige, it's time for a trip through their chequered past
By Oliver Farry - 22 July 11:26

While air travel has become progressively less exclusive, rail is edging back towards the prestige it once had. But it has had a chequered historical and cultural past.

Irn-Broon: Gordon Brown at a Labour pro-Union event in Glasgow, 10 March. Photo: Getty
Let’s stay together: Gordon Brown’s My Scotland, Our Britain
By Kevin Maguire - 18 July 16:30

Brown is a difficult opponent for Alex Salmond’s nationalists to knock down. His continued popularity north of Hadrian’s Wall is a powerful threat to the Yes lobby. 

Fluoro feet: Ghanaian players sport colourful boots during a World Cup training session, 18 June. Photo: Getty
Bright boots, shaving foam, dodgy slogans and nice teeth . . . What a World Cup that was
By Hunter Davies - 18 July 13:00

For about ten years, the back pages of football magazines have featured coloured boots. I thought they would never catch on – but blow me, they’re everywhere now!

Why publishers should embrace the film world's enthusiasm for releasing a director's cut
By Andrew Ladd - 18 July 12:56

The film world is keen on releasing a director's cut, which differs from the final version of the movie; publishers should do the same with books.

Andy Serkis as the ape-leader Ceasar.
Monkey business: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is smart, ravishing and bleak
By Ryan Gilbey - 18 July 12:50

The latest addition to the Planet of the Apes franchise is the toughest yet - the transition from playful ape and human interaction to bloody horror comes across as scarily plausible.

Latest squeeze: James Fearnley of The Pogues performs in New York, March 2011. Photo: Getty
How my literary life became an ever-lengthening index of people to avoid
By Nicholas Lezard - 18 July 12:30

With the editors to avoid and the editors to endure, book publishers’ parties can be a minefield – thank heavens for the Pogues’ accordionist...

Having a gander: a goose eats a breadcrumb in a German park. Photo: Getty
Will Self: The humble crumb gets us thinking how one day we’ll all be brown bread
By Will Self - 18 July 11:45

The more you consider the crumb, the more you sense the world about you crumbling – while we ourselves are but crumbs scattered on the face of the earth.

In the frame: Regeneration of the Planet of the Apes
By Tom Humberstone - 18 July 11:19

Tom Humberstone’s weekly comic.

Cave Italia: the Blue Grotto on the Isle of Capri. Photo: Getty
Filling the gaps: Outlook on the World Service
By Antonia Quirke - 17 July 16:40

No radio interviewer inserts themself quite so barmily into a dialogue like Matthew Bannister.

Ice magic: a tribunal has ruled the Snowball is officially a biscuit. Photo: Corbis
Felicity Cloake: Let the Gingerbread Man go naked . . . and save us some tax
By Felicity Cloake - 17 July 16:26

A court has ruled that the Snowball is a cake, not a biscuit, and is exempt from tax. It’s not the first snack to wriggle out of extra charges. 

The French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan.
Jacques Lacan: inspiring and infuriating in equal measure
By Juliet Jacques - 17 July 15:22

A new biography explores the power dynamics of psychoanalysis.

Green crossing: Thomas Heatherwick's proposed Garden Bridge across the Thames at Temple
Bridges are the rarest of industrial constructions: works of utility, yet beautiful and uplifting
By Erica Wagner - 17 July 10:00

Erica Wagner visits the “Bridge” exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands.

Art of disorder: Rio de Janeiro, 2011. The country's fiction and music thrive on cultural cannibalism. Photo: David Alan Harvey/Magnum
The full Brazilian: fiction by Michel Laub and Daniel Galera
By Ian Thomson - 17 July 10:00

Two of Granta’s 20 “Best of Young Brazilian Novelists” examine Brazil’s Afro-European heritage and waves of migration from the Old World.

The rehabilitation of the muse
By Joe Dunthorne - 17 July 10:00

A poem by Joe Dunthorne.

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