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Amis, Freely, Husain and terror

By Tom Chatfield  

First things first: the Whitworth Hall was a splendid venue for tonight’s debate on literature and terrorism. It’s an elegant heap of neo-Gothic excess at the heart of Manchester university’s campus, with the proportions of a cathedral and an atmosphere to match. Our three speakers arranged themselves behind a narrow white-cloth-enrobed table that looked more than a little like an altar, while behind them soared a monstrous organ, evoking for me a bat in flight or the underbelly of some gothic stealth-bomber. With a near sell-out crowd of 500 in attendance, the scene was set for some serious debate.


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