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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
The Arts
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Two British things are especially hard to explain and often impossible to understand; cricket and comedy. My mantra on the subject is that slapstick travels across cultural barriers but wit does not. Reading Norman Collins' 'The Three Friends', published in 1935, I find myself noting certain phrases he uses because they are funny while being intrinsically descriptive. His tropics-set novels place…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Media & The Arts
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There's been a lot in the academic press lately about the ways in which public-driven censorship is destroying free debate. Although this is currently more of a US talking point, what starts there usually ends here. Currently there are over a dozen books featuring drugs, abortion, race and LGBT issues on the US college libraries' 'most banned' lists, along with 'To Kill A Mockingbird', which faces…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
Great Britain
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The great Hatton Garden robbery captured the public imagination; the total stolen had a value of up to £200 million, and was called the largest burglary in English history. The heist was planned and carried out by four elderly men who were experienced thieves, all of whom were caught and pleaded guilty. But fifty years earlier the title of greatest English robbery meant only one thing; the Great…
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Christopher Fowler
The English have a long history of surrealist comedy, particularly on TV and radio, although there are wonderful books as well. I was reminded of this when, visiting my mother in Sevenoaks, Kent, I found a little record shop (remember those?) that stocked an album I had as a child, the precursor to Monty Python called 'At Last The 1948 Show'. It's amazing how many of the sketches are like missing…
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