Samuel Beckett and James Joyce were the main focus of Irish interest in Sotheby’s auction of rare books and manuscripts in London on Tuesday. (...)

Arjen Robben of the Netherlands celebrates after winning their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game against Mexico at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza. Photograph: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

The games define these tournaments and I’ll remember this one for some time – the Dutch defeat of Spain and Brazil’s enthralling yet slightly chaotic (...)

Burma’s Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing (C) walks next to Thai army chief and junta head General Prayuth Chan-ocha (L) and the supreme commander of the military General Tanasak Patimapragorn (R). Photograph: EPA/Chanat Katanyu

These are sour times for democracy in Asia. Photographs showed Gen Tanasak Patimapragorn, supreme commander of Thailand’s armed forces, hugging Burma’(...)

‘Seamus Heaney suggested that if the American national myth is the frontier, the Irish national myth is the bog.’ Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Through such writers as Beckett, Shaw and Wilde, Irish literature cannot be accused of ignoring philosophy, but very often it features as the butt (...)

Sinan Antoon: longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2014

Sinan Antoon is author of The Corpse Washer (Yale University Press), translated from Arabic by the author and recently longlisted for the Independe(...)

The first day of the Battle of the Somme, July 1st, 1916. Photograph: The Art Archive / Imperial War Museum
Putting war into words
  • Books
  • April 10, 2014, 09:36

“You can always tell an old soldier by the inside of his holsters and cartridge boxes. The young ones carry pistols and cartridges; the old ones, g(...)

“We call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words.”  Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
Fanimal fiction
  • Books
  • April 7, 2014, 01:00

“Four legs good, two legs bad.” Animal Farm, George Orwell “Quoth the Raven, `Nevermore'.” The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe “Love the ani(...)

The Double

Simon James (played by Jesse Eisenberg in a career best, surely?) is a socially awkward, cripplingly polite office wonk, whose innovations at work (...)

Planet Business

Image of the week: Candy crushed If you have never played Candy Crush Saga, don’t. Save yoursel f. This solo jelly bean mascot from King Digital (...)

 A scene from a dramatisation of  Tressell’s The Ragged  Trousered Philanthropists performed in London in 1949. Photograph: Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Getty Images
Run Ragged Run

When James Joyce’s Dubliners first appeared in 1914, it carried an advertisement on the dus(...)