Geoff Dyer on board the USS George HW Bush. Photograph: Chris Steele-Perkins

Among the deadly bombs, 10-gallon tubs of army grub and ocean-ruling technology, something moves. As the USS George HW Bush wades through the Gulf’(...)

Illustration: Thinkstock

Q I am 27 and live at home with my parents. Life is really getting me down and I am angry all the time. I feel I could be heading for depression. T(...)

‘In the Salon of Madame Geoffrin in 1755’ , a painting by Anicet Charles Gabriel Lemonnier of a group of artists and writers at the salon of Marie-Thérèse Rodet Geoffrin, Hotel Rambouillet, Paris

Sometimes it can feel as though a conspiracy of superficiality looms over us like a candyfloss cloud dictating the kinds of conversations that are soc(...)

The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo

I’m looking at a wall. Or at least, a painting of a wall. I’ve got about five different articles to write and many more emails to answer, but I’m look(...)

Dazzling: a visitor with Kyung A Ham’s silk embroidery Greedy Is Good, at this autumn’s Frieze Art Fair in London. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty

Sometimes these days, when I’m going around art exhibitions, I find myself feeling grumpy, miserable and hopeless. This is bit like the feeling you ge(...)

Marcel Proust, 1871-1922. Photograph: Culture Club/Getty Images

Marcel Proust was a publisher’s nightmare: the page-long sentences; endless corrections and additions. “I fail to see why a chap needs 30 pages to des(...)

Here is a simple proposition: human thinking is conducted in one of two ways. Either we categorise, building upwards from a mass of phenomena to fewer(...)