The latest on books and the arts
Shining Rock Software's pastoral game, Banished.
Critical Distance: This Week in Videogame Blogging #14
By Critical Distance - 20 April 15:56

The rise of pastoral games.

Julian Huppert speaking at the New Statesman Debate on the EU. Photo: Chris Boland
Europe: in or out? The Cambridge Literary Festival New Statesman Debate
By Tom Gatti - 20 April 13:47

The Ukip and Lib Dem candidates for Cambridge clash over Europe in a packed debating chamber.

Werner Herzog. Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty
Film is a contact sport: Werner Herzog on the physicality of directing
By Antonia Quirke - 20 April 11:57

Do "whatever it takes" to get your film made.

The Swedish family in Force Majeure witnesses a controlled avalanche.
Force Majeure's manipulative morality feels like a passé dinner-party game
By Ryan Gilbey - 20 April 11:41

The more outlandish the film becomes, the looser its grip.

In the Frame: Game of Downing Street
By Tom Humberstone - 17 April 15:17

Tom Humberstone's weekly comic.

System of a Down's Serj Tankian on his tour for recognition of the Armenian genocide
By Anoosh Chakelian - 17 April 15:10

The Armenian-American metal band, System of a Down, is doing a special tour for the Armenian genocide centenary. We catch up with the lead singer to find out why.

Holey private: dreams of health for loadsamoney. Photo: BBC
Theatres of the absurd: the unadulterated horror of Harley Street
By Rachel Cooke - 16 April 17:17

Six months of treatment for cancer? A mere £30,000 at London's most exclusive clinics.

Stork fetish: our cultures encourage us to believe that the breeding instinct is universal. Photo: Bridgeman Images
Caught in the parent trap: the fierce social politics of not having children
By Rachel Cooke - 16 April 17:01

Why don't I have children? The answer is simple: I never reached the point where I wanted them.

We are stardust: the restrained elegance of Clive James's Sentenced to Life
By John Burnside - 16 April 17:01

"The world you quit / Is staying here, so say goodbye to it."

Prince Charles with his father at the Badminton Horse Trials in April 1965. Photo: Ray Bellisario/Popperfoto/Getty
Beyond the call of duty: the Prince Charles problem
By Richard J Evans - 16 April 16:55

Charles seems unable to keep his mouth shut on political issues.

Getting the band back together: 102 years of great writing.
From the archive: the New Statesman anniversary issue
By New Statesman - 16 April 16:45

102 years of the NS.

A detail of Otto Dix's portrait of the psychiatrist Dr Heinrich Stadelmann (1922) Picture: Art Gallery of Ontario/Bridgeman Images
Walking wounded: our often barbaric struggle to cure mental illness
By John Gray - 16 April 16:35

Insanity was "a disease of civilisation".

David Bowie in 1973. Photo: Michael Ochs/Gettuy
From the archive: Martin Amis on the "mild fad" of David Bowie
By Martin Amis - 16 April 14:37

The feelings David Bowie aroused will vanish along with the fashion built around him, argued Martin Amis in 1973.

Larkin outside the University of Hull in 1979. Photo: Jane Bown/Topfoto
From the archive: Philip Larkin on the voices of poets
By Philip Larkin - 16 April 14:03

All my antiquarian rage boils at the thought that nobody thought to record Hardy.

A technician works on the main transmission mast of the BBC Broadcasting House in Langham Place, April 1931. Photo: Hulton/Imagno/Getty
From the archive: E M Forster defends the freedom of the BBC
By E M Forster - 16 April 13:34

The world is large and the opinions in it conflicting.