Author Alain de Botton (R) makes notes during his week as writer-in-residence at Heathrow Airport, west London, on August 20, 2009.

Internet research has convinced some we can know everything. But away from Google’s spoon dipped into Wikipedia’s stockpot, the idea of the mystery of(...)

Author Darragh McKeon. Photograph: anaphoto.net

Darragh McKeon has worked as a director with theatre companies such as Rough Magic in Dublin, the Royal Court and Young Vic in London, and Steppenw(...)

Fan fiction: the band in Joseph O’Connor’s book could only have hit big in the 1980s (like Bauhaus). Photograph: Fin Costello/Redferns

From Don DeLillo’s Great Jones Street to Iain Banks’s Espedair Street, the rock’n’roll novel is a tricky beast. Rock fables tend to favour one of two (...)

In 2008, the gun that was used to kill John F Kennedy’s assassin was auctioned off as part of “a pop culture collection”. Other items included the (...)

Greatest hurling final ever?: Pádraic Collins and Aaron Cunningham celebrate Clare’s win in last weekend’s replay. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

It was the greatest week – or, at least, a week of the greatest. It had the greatest hurling final ever, which had followed soon after the previous gr(...)