Arts & Books
Ernest Gellner was a brilliant polemicist, but his partisan history of ideas is a crude caricature of modern European thought.
Opera should stop trying to make itself accessible and accept that it is an inherently difficult and elitist art form
Kate Kellaway is disappointed by a little book about conversation which suffers from runaway enthusiasm undone by preciousness
Literary criticism is seldom of use to the common reader. This collection from one of the best of the younger critics is an exception, but not without its flaws.
Richard Layard recommends the most illuminating of recent books on the wired society but draws more pessimistic conclusions than the author
Writers used to be condescending about travelling salesmen, but they have long since joined the club.
On Valentine's Day don't send a card, write a letter. But don't include the most rhythmically unsatisfying phrase in the English language: I love you
Roger Scruton's exhilarating tirade against modern culture recommends taking refuge in high art. But art won't tell you how to live
Britain's famous obsession with class is, paradoxically, the result of an unusually high level of social mobility
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James Oddy / March 12, 2018