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Culture


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Essay/
Cultures & Languages
Who decides what words mean

Bound by rules, yet constantly changing, language might be the ultimate self-regulating system, with nobody in charge

Lane Greene

Essay/
Stories & Literature
What War of the Worlds did

The uncanny realism of Orson Welles’s radio play crystallised a fear of communication technology that haunts us today

Benjamin Naddaff-Hafrey

Essay/
Stories & Literature
The great disillusionist

In an age when so many people are at a loss to give life meaning and direction, Giacomo Leopardi is essential reading

Tim Parks

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Stories & Literature
Pagans against Genesis

Confused, inferior and philosophically unsound: the Greco-Roman critique of the Old Testament could have been written today

Pieter van der Horst

Essay/
Anthropology
Relics of power

From the foreskin of Jesus to the scarf of Elvis: why humans cannot resist the magical potency of charismatic objects

Jesper Sørensen

Essay/
Stories & Literature
L’art de la traduction

What is the task of the translator – to be a servant to the source or to create a new work of illuminated meaning?

Mark Polizzotti

Essay/
Cultures & Languages
The say of the land

Is language produced by the mind? Romantic theory has it otherwise: words emerge from the cosmos, expressing its soul

Mark Vernon

Essay/
Social Psychology
Our age of horror

In this febrile cultural moment filled with fear of the Other, horror has achieved the status of true art

M M Owen

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Music
Musical pleasures

We know music is pleasurable, the question is why? Many answers have been proposed: perhaps none are quite right

Roger Mathew Grant

Essay/
Stories & Literature
Ghosts on the shore

In Japan, ghost stories are not to be scoffed at, but provide deep insights into the fuzzy boundary between life and death

Christopher Harding