Culture House Daily

Spectator competition winners: Anna Karenina lives happily ever after

16 September 2018 9:30

Your latest challenge was to supply a happy ending for a well-known play, poem or novel. Nahum Tate (the worst…

Books Podcast: life and death in the Falklands – and what happens after

13 September 2018 15:09

In this week’s books podcast I’m talking to Helen Parr about her remarkable new book Our Boys: The Story of…

Review: Operation Finale

10 September 2018 12:10

Adolf Eichmann, the model of a modern mass murderer

Spectator competition winners: ‘a tomato is nothing more than a bordello of suggestibility’

9 September 2018 9:30

The inspiration for the latest challenge, to submit a newspaper leading article exposing the corrupting influence of a seemingly innocuous…

Hank Mobley, the greatest sax player you never heard

7 September 2018 11:30

The forgotten genius of Blue Note was a prince among players, but he died a pauper

Books Podcast: Sebastian Faulks’s ghosts in Paris

6 September 2018 15:27

In this week’s books podcast, I’m talking to Sebastian Faulks about his brilliant new novel Paris Echo, which describes the…

Any storm in a port: The Bookshop reviewed

3 September 2018 15:08

Reports of the death of bookstores are fiction. In 1931, there were about 4,000 bookstores in the United States. Almost…

Spectator competition winners: pun for your life (poems about puns containing puns)

2 September 2018 9:30

The latest challenge was to submit a poem about puns containing puns. Dryden regarded paronomasia as ‘the lowest and most…

Spectator competition winners: To leave, or not to leave — that is the question: politicians soliloquise

26 August 2018 9:30

The invitation to compose a Shakespearean-style soliloquy that a contemporary politician might have felt moved to deliver was inspired by…

Spectator competition winners: P.G. Wodehouse does science fiction

17 August 2018 17:35

For the latest competition you were invited to imagine a well-known author who doesn’t normally write in the genre trying…

Books Podcast: can graphic novels be considered literature?

16 August 2018 15:50

Among the biggest surprises of this year’s Man Booker Prize longlist was the inclusion, for the first time in the…

Spectator competition winners: ‘And did those tweets…’

13 August 2018 12:58

The latest challenge was to compose an updated version of ‘Jerusalem’ starting with the words ‘And did those tweets…’ One…

Spectator competition winners: finding the poetry in science

6 August 2018 10:00

The writer and chemist Primo Levi saw poetry in Mendeleev’s periodic table, describing it as ‘poetry, loftier and more solemn…

Spectator competition winners: misleading advice for tourists

31 July 2018 10:00

The latest challenge, to supply snippets of mischievously/sadistically misleading advice for foreign tourists visiting Britain, or for British ones travelling…

Books Podcast: Jesse Norman and how to properly appreciate Adam Smith

26 July 2018 16:29

Adam Smith is the most quoted and misquoted economist of all time. But was he the prophet of devil-take-the-hindmost neoliberalism,…

Performing garage on an orchestra doesn’t lend the genre legitimacy – it just sanitises the music

24 July 2018 15:33

When I originally heard that DJ Spoony was curating a night of UK garage backed by a 36-piece orchestra at…

Thomas Cole’s allegorical landscapes chronicling the decline of civilisation are sublime – but wrong

24 July 2018 11:53

For Americans, Thomas Cole is a household name. He painted America’s wild landscapes and lamented its destruction by the country’s…

Spectator competition winners: the day the internet died

22 July 2018 12:20

Your latest challenge was to compose a short story entitled ‘The day the internet died’. Phyllis Reinhard’s Don McLean-inspired entry…

Books Podcast: Ben Rhodes and what it was like to work for Obama

19 July 2018 15:44

In this week’s Spectator Books, I’m talking to a man who has spent more time on Air Force One than…

Spectator competition winners: elegy on the death of the High Street

16 July 2018 15:06

The call for elegies on the death of the High Street brought in a large entry that was poignant and…

Books Podcast: Margo Jefferson on Michael Jackson

12 July 2018 14:32

In this week’s Books podcast, we’re moonwalking back to the glory days of Michael Jackson with the brilliant Margo Jefferson,…

Spectator competition winners: Winston Churchill and Donald Trump take on the role of agony uncle

8 July 2018 9:45

The latest challenge was to cast a well-known figure on the world stage, living or dead, in the role of…

Books Podcast: Jay Rubin and the world of Japanese stories

5 July 2018 14:06

In this week’s Spectator books podcast I’m talking to the distinguished scholar of Japanese literature Jay Rubin, editor of the new…

Thank goodness liberals haven’t tried to spoil musicals

5 July 2018 10:59

There was a standing ovation from the audience at The King and I at the London Palladium on Tuesday night,…

Spectator competition winners: Hackety, rackety Donald and Vladimir – double dactyls about double acts

1 July 2018 9:07

The latest challenge was to compose double dactyls about double acts. I didn’t include the rules about double dactyls this…