The Whole World Is a Work of Art: On Jonathan Bate’s “Mad About Shakespeare”

SEPTEMBER 28, 2022 A FEW YEARS AGO, I ran a reading group at a local charity in Bristol that supported men and women who had experienced addiction or other mental health challenges, or who had spent time in prison. We read short pieces that we could share aloud in the group, including an extract from … Read more

Get to work

A word in the ear for the aspirant literary journalist: don’t panic, 2022 still has a few good literary anniversaries left in it. Such anniversaries are a perennial source of material for the would-be hack, serving as opportunities for outbursts of iconoclasm, pious reassessments, thinkpieces, long reads – whatever you or your editor wants to … Read more

Making a Life’s Work of Death: On Hayley Campbell’s “All the Living and the Dead”

AUGUST 27, 2022 “HURRAY THEN FOR FUNERALS!” exclaims Jean-Baptiste Clamence in Albert Camus’s 1956 novel The Fall. Camus himself was a fan of funerals, according to Olivier Todd in his 1996 biography of the Nobel Prize–winning novelist. As Todd details, Camus became obsessed with American funeral customs on his trip to the United States in … Read more

Work to live or live to work?

Jan Lucassen and James Suzman both think that there is, at this moment, a particular interest in work. They point to recent and possible future changes in work as reasons why this might be the case: the rise of the gig economy and the spectre of robotics and artificial intelligence. Lucassen aims to produce a … Read more