Umberto Eco: moved with ease from medieval aesthetics to contemporary cartoon strips. Photograph: AP Photo/Luca Bruno.

Umberto Eco, who has died aged 84, was a polymath of towering cleverness. His novels combined cultural influences ranging from TS Eliot to the Charlie(...)

‘Our first instinct when confronted with anything out of the ordinary is to take out our phone and create a small, 2D, digital representation. The default way, as a tourist, to experience iconic buildings and sights is to take a photo. Doing so has become more important that actually experiencing it directly.’  Photograph: Getty Images

We live in a culture that pathologically captures and records our lives in the form of images. Billions of photographs and hundreds of hours of video (...)

On display: a cutout of Jorge Luis Borges at a book fair in Buenos Aires. Photograph: Daniel Garcia/AFP/Getty

In a story called The Dead Man the Argentinean author Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) writes about a character who emerges from a shabby working-class d(...)

Susan Wood at her exhibition, ‘Close Up’, at City Assembly House, South William Street, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The first photograph Susan Wood remembers taking was a self- portrait. She positioned the camera on a bench or stool, stood back and took the picture.(...)

Angelina Jolie: “clear and clean – almost clinical, even, in her matter-of-fact description of the rather grisly operation”. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Sometimes I feel like a really fastidious single man. You know, the cerebral kind whose bathroom is so clean and pristine that it seems like a (...)