The editors' blog
~ Posted by Isabel Lloyd, January 6th 2012 read more »
~ Posted by Simon Willis, April 9th 2013read more »
~ Posted by Isabel Lloyd, April 8th 2013read more »
~ Posted by Robert Butler, April 5th 2013read more »
~ Posted by Anthony Gardner, April 5th 2013read more »
~ Posted by Nicholas Barber, April 3rd 2013
Once upon a time, actors changed their names to make them more acceptable to American and British audiences, so Derek van den Bogearde became Dirk Bogarde and Krishna Pandit Bhanji became Ben Kingsley. In the multicultural 21st century, that’s no longer necessary—hence, Chiwetel Ejiofor. It’s a heartening progression.
And this trend extends even to moneyed and bohemian Brits. One of this week’s new films, "A Late Quartet", co-stars the gloriously named Imogen Poots, who also stars in "The Look of Love" (above), opening later this month. However many film roles she goes on to have, she’s destined never to play a character with a name more cosily quirky than her own. And she’s not the only twentysomething British actress to sound as if she has magical adventures on a flying iron bedstead. Danny Boyle’s new film, "Trance", features Tuppence Middleton, whose name was fairy-tale enough even before Kate and Pippa came on the scene. Were her parents thinking of calling her Penny before deciding that she was twice as valuable? But even her twinkly name seems run-of-the-mill when heard alongside that of another contemporary, Ophelia Lovibond. When you have "Ophelia" and "luvvie" on your birth certificate, what else can you do except tread the boards?read more »
~ Posted by Emma Hogan, March 29th 2013
I first read Orwell’s "Down and Out in Paris and London" in a Penguin paperback original from 1963 (above left). The cover was orange and the title was in black, with a grainy stock photo of a wine bottle and crumpled newspaper beneath.
Marked up "3/6" on the front cover, after 40 years the spine was cracked and the yellow pages oozed the sweet smell of aged paper. This only added to the effect. The world Orwell evokes—of Parisian slums and repulsive "spikes" in London where homeless men and women find a bed for a night—was immediately arresting for a 15 year old who had no experience of it.
So I was pleased to see that Penguin has reissued "Down and Out", along with four other Orwell titles. Their new editions take the original designs and put a twist on them. Some are inventive: "Nineteen Eighty-Four" has the title and author’s name blanked out. Others, like the cover for "Down and Out" (above right), are retro. The designers at Penguin have done an attractive job—but even so, it doesn't seem the right one.read more »
~ Posted by Hazel Sheffield, March 28th 2013
Any institution charging students $60,000 for a vocational degree deserves a certain amount of scrutiny. But when Michael Wolff turned his sights on Columbia Journalism School for appointing a new dean who has never tweeted, he misfired.
The dean in question is Steve Coll (pictured), who will replace Nicholas Lemann in July. Both men have worked for the Washington Post and the New Yorker. Both have written several books. Neither is known for their digital acumen. But under Lemann, the school made strides in improving the digital curriculum by hiring Emily Bell from the Guardian to direct the new Tow Center for digital journalism and forging a partnership with the engineering school to grant dual degrees in journalism and computer science.
Right now, Columbia J-school is building a new institute for media innovation with money pledged by the late Helen Gurley Brown, who edited Cosmopolitan for many years. Mark Hansen, who started his career in research and development and now specialises in data and computing, will lead the new institute.
Even if Coll is as conservative as Wolff fears, there are people in his team with fearsome résumés, dedicated to the digital and technological future of the profession. What’s worrying is that after taking down the incoming dean on the strength of a poor Twitter presence, Wolff rubbishes the entire school for being "anti-market".read more »
~ Posted by Maggie Fergusson, March 27th 2013
"The apple never falls far from the tree." That’s the saying Andrew Solomon turns on its head in "Far From the Tree", his new study of parents whose children have proved a surprise to them.
In a modest way, I’m one of these. The odds against my having a sporty child were long. My school was small enough that almost every girl was in a team. Not me. In the summer term, during rounders, I was the deep, deep fielder, lying in the rough grass, miles from the action. One PE report read simply, "Heavy landings".
My husband was the same. After watching him for the first time on the football pitch, his father took himself off and drowned his disappointment in drink. So when it came to buying a house—one small daughter in arms, another on the way—we ignored the estate agent’s warnings that the one we liked was lacking in "outside space". We wanted inside space, plenty of walls to fill with shelves, and books. And that, we assumed, was what our children would want too.
I don’t know when it dawned on us that our younger daughter was different. She began in a small way, kicking a ball about with the boys at break time, and again on the street after tea. Then she became obsessed with the kit, insisting on regular visits to Sports Direct to hang out among the slimy tops and psychedelic boots. Copies of Match! began to slip through the letterbox alongside the TLS. Liverpool, she decided, was her team. She plastered her bedroom walls with posters of Steven Gerrard, and in the bath at night began to sing soulfully, to the tune of “Let it Be”,
“Steeeevie G, Stevie G, Stevie G, oooooh Stevie G…”read more »
~ Posted by Simon Willis, March 27th 2013
Late last year, our picture editor Melanie Grant asked the photographer Emma Hardy to go to Cambodia. Nicholas Shakespeare was writing a piece about his return to Cambodia 50 years after his family was forced to flee Phnom Penh by an angry mob. Emma spent three days travelling with Nicholas, photographing the story as she went. We published her pictures in our January/February issue. Last night we saw them on a gallery wall. The Gallery in Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, has an exhibition of the pictures we used in the magazine as well as some that we didn't have room for.
Graham Black, our art director, was looking at a print of a photograph (above) we had used on the opening spread—of a baby sitting in a little round bath in a slum outside Phnom Penh. He had pored over hundreds of Emma's pictures, choosing which ones worked best with Nicholas Shakespeare's words. "It's like seeing a movie for the second time," Graham said, "You notice tiny little details." Just in front of the tin bathtub was a toothbrush, bristles down in mud and rubbish. "I hadn't seen that."read more »