125 years of Sherlock Holmes: remembering Conan Doyle’s legend

Conan Doyle did not want to be remembered as the man who created Sherlock Holmes: this seems unfortunate, perhaps, when one looks back over the history and extraordinary popularity of the world’s most famous detective. From his first appearance in the Strand in 1887, Holmes, with his (somewhat apocryphal) deerstalker and omnipresent pipe, has remained […]

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Poetry review: the sun and her flowers by Rupi Kaur

Rupi Kaur’s debut collection ‘milk and honey’ liberated poetry from the archaism of regulated metre and stuffy subject matter. Her fluid and plain style is known for beautifully encapsulating the struggles of heartbreak, femininity and defiance. However, Kaur’s ambrosia formula of abstract sketches and lower case-lettered odes to self-love in ‘milk and honey’ seem at […]

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Oil paintings and iPhone photos: is Instagram the new still life?

It’s mid-June. I’ve just sat my A-levels, and have been whisked away on a family holiday to the world’s cultural epicentre – Florence. Like most tourists, I find myself on a pilgrimage to one of the city’s many cultural trophies: Raphael’s Madonna della seggiola housed in the Palazzo Pitti. What we are confronted with is […]

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8 fast facts about the 2017 Venice Biennale

Ace the numbers This is already the 57th Venice Biennale. This year, the exhibition has 120 invited artists (85% first-time participants) spanning across a variety of themes such as “Artists and Books”, “Joy and Fear”, “Traditions” and “Colors”. With 86 national pavilions, Antigua and Barbuda, Kiribati and Nigeria are the “freshers” of the event. It […]

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Book review: Stay With Me by Ayòbámi Adébáyò

Without even knowing the plot of Stay With Me, the Baileys-longlisted novel, the first scene acts as a precursor for what is to come. Our yet unnamed narrator waits, anticipating something unknown, in an empty room. Its hollowness is painful, infertile, barren, a physical reminder of Yejide’s loneliness: her inability to conceive, the death of […]

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20 years of Harry Potter: the series for everyone

In late June this year, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter turned 20 years old. Just as some of the books’ earliest fans begin to reach adulthood, the series itself has entered a new phase of its existence. Over the years since The Philosopher’s Stone was first published, Harry Potter has undergone an epic transformation, growing from […]

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Non-fiction: where the truth really is stranger and more daring

Non-fiction often gets a bad reputation: Lacking in adventure and escapism. Educating rather than entertaining. Being outright dull. Many denounce its ability to provide anything other than a subjective view of reality and a breakdown of the most current affairs. Some look exclusively to fiction to fulfil their need for escapism, oblivious to the incredible […]

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Review: ‘History of Wolves’ by Emily Fridlund

  Wolves, even since the Anglo-Saxon period, have always been symbolic of humanity’s deepest anxieties. Representing the unexplained, lurking on the fringes of society, wolves embody the fear of the unknown. Beginning Madeline’s coming-of-age story, then, with the history of wolves rather than humans, immediately alienates the bildungsroman from traditional ‘growing up’ novels. Instead, Madeline […]

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Post-Documenta 14, what happens now?

Since Documenta 14 departed from Athens in mid-July, there has been little done to support the foundations laid by this contemporary art celebration and address the issues highlighted. As the summer months roll on, Athenians have begun to leave the mainland for their summer holidays, as one is incapacitated by the stagnant heat. “Nothing happens […]

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