Thursday, May 26, 2016

Elizabeth Kolbert / Field Notes from a Catastrophe / Review by Anushka Ashana

Feeling the heat

Anushka Asthana on Field Notes from a Catastrophe
Field Notes from a Catastrophe
by Elizabeth Kolbert

Anushka Asthana
Sunday 12 August 2007 23.55 BST

The Inuit people of Banks Island have no word to describe what we know as a robin. After all, the islanders, 500 miles inside the Arctic Circle, deep in Canada's Northwest Territories, had never seen the creatures until they suddenly turned up in numbers a few years ago. 'We just thought, "Oh gee, it's warming up a little bit,"' islander John Keogak tells Elizabeth Kolbert. 'It was good at the start - warmer winters, you know - but now everything is going so fast.'

The 100 best nonfiction books / The Sixth Extintion by Elizabeth Kolbert (2014)

The 100 best nonfiction books 

No 1 

The Sixth Extinction 

by Elizabeth Kolbert 


The first in a new series on the world’s most important works of nonfiction is an engrossing account of the looming catastrophe caused by ecology’s ‘neighbours from hell’ – mankind

Robert McCrum
Monday 1 February 2016 05.45 GMT

he human animal knows that it is born to age and die. Together with language, this knowledge is what separates us from all other species. Yet, until the 18th century, not even Aristotle, who speculated about most things, actually considered the possibility of extinction.
This is all the more surprising because “the end of the world” is an archetypal theme with a sonorous label – eschatology – that morphs in popular culture into many doomsday scenarios, from global warming to the third world war. Citizens of the 21st century now face a proliferating menu of possible future dooms.
Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History is both a highly intelligent expression of this genre and also supremely well executed and entertaining. Her book, which follows her global warming report Field Notes from a Catastrophe (2006), is already set to become a contemporary classic, and an excellent place to start this new series of landmark nonfiction titles in the English language.

The 100 best nonfiction books of all time

Umberto Eco, who writes that ‘the list is the origin of the culture’.

The 100 best nonfiction books of all time

Robert McCrum launches the Observer’s definitive 100 works of nonfiction – key texts in English that have shaped our literary culture and made us who we are

Robert McCrum
Monday 25 January 2016 05.44 GMT

nother book list? Yes and no. When we completed our 100 best novels in the English language last August, you did not have to be one of its fiercest critics – there were a few of those – to recognise it was still a job half done. Plainly, the English literary tradition is rich in great works of poetry and prose that are not novels. The King James Bible of 1611, for instance, is every bit as influential as the greatest novelists of the past 300 years, from Austen to Waugh. Indeed, as the 100 best novels series drew to a close, we began to wonder what a complementary list of 100 great English-language nonfiction titles might look like.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Kristen Stewart / 'I'd love to work with Lars von Trier'

Kristen Stewart
Kristen Stewart: 

'I'd love to work with Lars von Trier'

The Twilight actor, who has two films playing at Cannes, would next most like to collaborate with the controversial Danish auteur

Nigel M Smith in Cannes
Wednesday 18 May 2016 11.30 BST

Kristen Stewart has said that she would “kill” to work with Lars von Trier. Stewart confessed to her love for von Trier to the Guardian while discussing Allen’s Cannes-opener, Café Society.
Speaking at a press event for Cafe Society, Stewart was asked which film-makers she was keen to work with and said: “I love Lars von Trier. It’s hard for me to think of those things and I’m reluctant to say [who] because they follow you around. Seems horse before the cart. But I would kill to work for Lars von Trier.”

Kristen Stewart / 'Sometimes I do feel a bit like I have my limbs cut off'

Kristen Stewart
Photo by Mario Testino
Kristen Stewart: 
'Sometimes I do feel a bit like I have my limbs cut off'
The star of Olivier Assayas’s Personal Shopper, in which she plays an assistant to an immensely famous model, says she sometimes feels debilitated by fame and shares her thoughts on the supernatural

Henry Barnes
Tuesday 17 May 2016 14.41 BST

The lack of freedom afforded to you by being famous feels a bit like “having your limbs cut off”, Kristen Stewart told press at the Cannes film festival.
The actor was speaking at the press conference for Olivier Assayas’s supernatural drama, Personal Shopper. The second film at Cannes in which she stars (the other is Woody Allen’s Café Society, which opened the festival last week), Personal Shopper sees her play Maureen, a psychic medium who, during daylight hours, assists a famous fashion model with her clothing choices.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Isabelle Huppert / Elle is not about a woman 'accepting her rapist'

Isabelle Huppert
Cannes 2016

Isabelle Huppert: Elle is not about a woman 'accepting her rapist'

At the Cannes film festival, the actor said that her controversial dark comedy, about a woman dealing with sexual assault in an unconventional manner, should be taken as a ‘fantasy’

Benjamin Lee
Saturday 21 May 2016 13.02 BST

The fantasy is within yourself but it’s not necessarily something that you want to happen’ ...
Isabelle Huppert on her character in Elle. Photograph: Valery Hache

Isabelle Huppert has spoken about her provocative new film Elle, claiming “it’s not a statement about a woman being raped”.

The controversial black comedy was greeted with shocked laughter and enthusiastic applause as it screened at the Cannes film festival earlier today. In the film, directed by Paul Verhoeven, Huppert plays a woman who is brutally raped but deals with the fallout in a perverse and often darkly comical way.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro accused of being 'as mad as a goat'

Nicolás Maduro

Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro accused of being 'as mad as a goat'

  • Uruguay’s former leader José Mujica says ‘they are all crazy in ‘Venezuela’
  • Maduro has called another official a CIA agent and a ‘traitor’

Venezuela’s embattled president Nicolás Maduro is “mad as a goat”, according to Uruguay’s former leader José “Pepe” Mujica.
Mujica’s comments came after Maduro accused the head of the Organization of American States (OAS) of being a “traitor” and CIA agent.
They’re all crazy in Venezuela,” Mujica said. “I have great respect for Maduro, but that doesn’t mean I can’t say ‘You’re crazy, you’re as mad as a goat.’”

Venezuela needs Nicolás Maduro’s allies to make him see reason

Venezuela needs Nicolás Maduro’s allies to make him see reason

Since succeeding Hugo Chávez three years ago, Maduro has plunged the country into ever-worsening chaos. Action needs to be taken if a humanitarian crisis is to be averted

Thursday 19 May 2016 

Venezuela, newborn babies are dying at obscene rates. In the first three months of 2016, more than 200 died in hospitals in Caracas, Cumaná and San Cristóbal. Doctors and parents blame power outages, damaged incubators and shortages of medicines. Many Venezuelans, myself included, also blame the government of Nicolás Maduro.

In the last three years, the “heir” of Hugo Chávez has led the country into a maelstrom of anarchy and annihilation that one would expect only of a nation devastated by war. Statistics for homicides, impunity, repression, political persecution, censorship, inflation, devaluation, business closures and expropriations, unemployment and migration – already terrifying during the Chávez era – have gone through the roof.

Amy Winehouse / Amy / Posters

Amy Winehouse

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Noam Chomsky on Donald Trump / 'Almost a death knell for the human species'

‘I’m not sure he knows what he thinks

Noam Chomsky on Donald Trump: 'Almost a death knell for the human species'

As he appears in new documentary The Divide, the great intellectual explains why Brexit is unimportant, why Trump’s climate change denial is catastrophic – and why revolution is easier than you think

Leo Benedictus
Friday 20 May 2016 15.14 BST

Have you seen The Divide, the British documentary you took part in? 
The Divide? I haven’t seen it, no.
Perhaps it’s been a while since you filmed it? 
Well, I’m interviewed all the time.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Venezuela believes happiness should be in national interes

Maduro shows the so-call "Blue Book" which contains Chávez thought. / AFP

Venezuela believes happiness should be in national interest

President Maduro creates new office to supervise social programs coming out of Havana

For the Venezuelan government, happiness should be in the national interest. So President Nicolás Maduro announced on Thursday that he was appointing a new deputy minister responsible for people’s social happiness.
Among the duties of the new deputy minister will be to supervise the social missions between Caracas and its major ally Havana, which were created under late President Hugo Chávez.
The office will be dedicated to Chávez and 19th-century liberator Simón Bolívar and will help with the needs of the most impoverished citizens and deal with their complaints, said Maduro, who explained that the new ministry was the brainchild of his wife, Cilia Flores.
Ruling party deputy Rafael Ríos will be in charge of the new office and will be assisted by Chávez’s former doctor, Julio César Alviarez, who helped treat the former president before he died from cancer on March 5.