Tim Parks

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Cruel Clippings

Having moved house some four years ago, we receive very little mail through our old address. However, there is one correspondent I have been unable to inform of the change. Every few months an envelope is forwarded by the patient Italian postal service. It comes from London. My name is......

Away Game in Catania

Is Italy a single nation, or a series of warring city states? Two weeks ago, on the train from Verona to Turin, a young man stares through the glass of my compartment, then comes in, says, ”Can I see your book?“ It‘s called A History of Football in Verona. Yes,......
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Glitter 2000

Illustration by Tim Biskup Will there be literature in the next millennium? Do we really need it? When you think about it, with the spread of interactive electronic media, a man alone in his own home will never have been so well-placed to fill the inexplicable mental space between cradle......
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Here Comes Salman

Illustration by Paul Lee"I ALWAYS THOUGHT STORYTELLING WAS like juggling," says the main character in Salman Rushdie's 1990 novel, Haroun and the Sea of Stories. "You keep a lot of different tales in the air, and juggle them up and down, and if you're good you don't drop any." In......
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Varieties of Virginity

Art by Heather Ramsey Zeus sat the infant Artemis on his knee and asked her what gifts she would like from him. She said: to be forever a virgin, to rival my brother Apollo, to possess a bow and arrow. Born directly from Zeus’ head, the goddess Athena also chose......
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If Brahma is a more endearing creator than Jehovah, it is because he wasn't pleased with what he had made. He found the world dull and dusty. Death was the answer, suggested Shiva. Living forever, people were bored. A time limit would galvanize, give dignity. But in that case some......
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