Books and Music
Chapters & Verse
Words, pictures and sounds from around Europe
PICTURE RAILSEdited by Tamsin Dillon
Platform for Art
From posters by 20th-century modernist Man Ray, through to its current installation Life is a Laugh, by British artist Brian Griffiths at Gloucester Road station, the London Underground has a long history of displaying art within its tunnels. Platform for Art reproduces many of the transport network’s more recent displays, proving just how well art and the underground get along.
Now playing:Sebastien Tellier, Sexuality
When it comes to sex, every nation has its stereotypes. There’s the liberated Swedes, the “ciao bella” Italians, the repressed Brits. Cool Parisian pop composer Sebastien Tellier adds weight to the Frenchman’s reputation for being a sensual lover with his eroticorientated album, Sexuality. The vintage-sounding, synthled CD is produced by one half of fellow Franco music act, Daft Punk, and is packed with wonderfully slinky bedroom tunes. A perfect Valentine’s soundtrack.
PRECIOUS FEMMENorma Clarke
Queen of the Wits
Biography fans, if you’re bored by dead, white-minded males in the literature section, check out this book on late, great female wit, poet and proto-feminist, Laetitia Pilkington. Though she was friends with some famous 18th-century writers, Pilkington has yet to receive the attention lavished on her forebears, until now.
SCOT ’N’ ROLLDoug Johnstone
Former nuclear physicist, turned drummer, journalist and novelist, Johnstone gives a convincing account of one fictional band’s hapless tour around the less notable rock venues of Scotland. The Ossians encounter drugs, a radioactive beach, a bombtesting range, and a town filled with Russian submariners. A bizarre, buzzing travelogue.
Travellers’ tales:Venice, 1909
“May in Venice (1) is better than April, but June is best of all. Then the days are hot, but not too hot, and the nights are more beautiful than the days. Then Venice is rosier than ever in the morning and more golden than ever as the day descends. She seems to expand and evaporate, to multiply all her reflections and iridescences. Then the life of her people and the strangeness of her constitution become a perpetual comedy, or at least a perpetual drama. Then the gondola is your sole habitation, and you spend days between sea and sky.”Italian Hours by Henry James