‘We wouldn’t normally have just 12 hours to build something of this size.’ The construction of Mahagonny in the Olympia Theatre, Dublin, had to be undertaken at double speed. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill 2:27

In Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s satirical opera, first performed in 1930, the city of Mahagonny appears instantaneously, as if by black magic. “(...)

Lotte Lenya: nothing else can quite hit the same spot of her voice, and, although you know this, you keep on wanting other performers to generate the same frisson. Photograph: Erich Auerbach/Getty Images

The music of Kurt Weill was something I knew before I knew that I knew it. Who hasn’t heard Mack the Knife? The song may be from an opera, but it has (...)

Anakana Schofield: Every book I read seems to change the way I think about fiction. Sometimes they drive me to despair by indicating how much more we need to demand from our fiction and other times they send me into orbit with the possibilities they reveal

Anakana Schofield is the author of the award-winng debut novel, Malarky, which is out now in paperback, a funny and moving tale of sexual shenaniga(...)

Richard Dawkins ‘throws out the baby with the bathwater’

Public debate on religion follows a depressingly familiar course these days. An equivalent of Godwin’s Law operates whereby the longer an online di(...)

Ernest Hemingway on the cover of Picture Post in 1954. Photograph: Earl Theisen/Picture Post/IPC/Getty

RAISING THE FLAG: SPOILS OF WARHistory decomposes into images, not into narratives. Walter BenjaminA Soviet soldier raises the red flag on the roof of(...)

Portrait of Nikolai Leskov by Valentin Serov 1894.

‘Here is God’s plenty,” remarked the English poet John Dryden of The Canterbury Tales. A similar comment could apply to the work of the 19th-century R(...)

Museum Hours
Museum Hours

We’re fully paid up and subscribed fans of the Jem Cohen milieu: as much as we love watching any old documentary on Fugazi, watching Instrument – Cohe(...)

We should blame Socrates for the high regard in which philosophers are held. Here was a man who was sentenced to death and, instead of doing a runner,(...)