The latest on books and the arts
Man of parts: Freeman seemed intent on keeping the compartments of his life separate. Photo: ITV/Rex features
From one Statesman to another: Peter Wilby on John Freeman
By Peter Wilby - 16 July 9:20

Former New Statesman editor Peter Wilby reviews a new biography of John Freeman.

Illustration by Neale Osborne for Lebrecht Music & Arts.
The global wonder of Danilo Kiš
By Chris Power - 16 July 8:45

Kiš abhorred nationalism and prized literature as a global language. 

The actual moon landings. Photo: NASA/AFP/Getty Images
This is how we walk on the moon: Benjamin Johncock's The Last Pilot
By Erica Wagner - 16 July 8:13

Despite the decades that have gone by, the early days of space exploration hold an enduring fascination.

Paul Nash's Ruined Country (1917). Photo: Imperial War Museum
'And where': a new poem from Anthony Thwaite
By Anthony Thwaite - 16 July 8:04

And will we recognise the place when we get there. . . ?

The artwork An Oak Tree. Photo: YouTube screengrab/TateShots: Michael Craig-Martin/Tate
Can a glass of water also be an oak tree?
By Liv Constable-Maxwell - 15 July 16:56

Why when one creative claims to turn his glass into an oak tree, we accept it as a heart-breaking reaction to loss, and when another does the same, it's confusingly pointless?

Ben Kingsley as Damian finds himself upgraded into a well-muscled 35-year-old body. Photo: Alan Markfield/VVS Films
Farce, philosophy and fantasy: body-swap films have the perfect cinematic formula
By Ryan Gilbey - 15 July 11:25

Body-swap storylines are the perfect premise for filmic fun, so why is the most recent offering in the genre, Self/Less, so disappointing?

Time out of mind: “All art was once contemporary art,” says Quinn, whose practice draws on a rich history spanning ancient Greece, Turner and India. Photo: Laura Hynd for New Statesman
Marc Quinn: “You can’t be Turner in the age of global warming”
By Michael Prodger - 14 July 12:49

The artist on Kate Moss, time travel and life after the YBAs.

Vivienne Westwood at a fashion event. Photo: Getty
Anarchy in Wonderland: Vivienne Westwood's anti-capitalist take on Alice's Adventures
By Liv Constable-Maxwell - 13 July 14:45

Vivienne Westwood's 150th anniversary edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland calls for an end to capitalism, and captures the book in an age of political mistrust.

Woody Allen. Photo: Getty
Why do some directors repeatedly use the same actors in their films?
By Oliver Farry - 13 July 13:26

Looking behind the preferred casts of directors throughout the history of cinema who always use the same actors.

A pair of brown brogues. Photo: Flickr/ Designerschuhe, Taschen und Accessoires
Will walking in the shoes of a Syrian refugee or an Etonian help you empathise? Roman Krznaric thinks so
By Liv Constable-Maxwell - 09 July 16:25

Roman Krznaric speaks about his new project, the Empathy Museum, and why he believes it has the power to make visitors more empathetic.

India's Second World War: the history you don't hear about
By Simon Winchester - 09 July 15:35

As the British lost their grip on India, Punjabi and Bengali soldiers were still sent to the front lines of a European war.

The crowd during Kanye West's set at Glastonbury. Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images
Tracey Thorn's Glastonbury highlights: Mary J Blige, Kanye – and not having to be there
By Tracey Thorn - 09 July 14:43

I performed twice at Glastonbury, crippled by stage fright, poor sound, chilly weather and an overwhelming desire to be anywhere else. Luckily, you can now join in via the telly.

Funny peculiar: the young cast of P’tit Quinquin.
Bruno Dumont's P’tit Quinquin is like an austere, French Twin Peaks
By Ryan Gilbey - 09 July 14:05

Dumont isn’t satirising small-town small-mindedness so much as trying to understand how it functions – where it starts, what inflames it.

Chimney-sweep music: the spirit of Dick Van Dyke hangs over Damon Albarn’s
Modernist ballet and "chimney sweep music": Stuart Maconie on the Manchester International Festival
By Stuart Maconie - 09 July 13:56

Damon Albarn's and Tree of Codes, with music by Jamie xx, open this year's festival.

A man listens to radio in Nigeria's Borno state, as the region recovers from clashes with Islamist groups. Photo: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images
As governments shut down radio, the BBC world service is a lifeline
By Antonia Quirke - 09 July 13:39

“The exercise of making radio matters,” said a caller. “It’s a symbol of resistance.”