Culture

Gabriel García Márquez: working magic with ‘brick-faced’ realism

Gabriel García Márquez 1a Edgard Garrido Reuters

One Hundred Years of Solitude’s author took cues from Kafka – and his grandmother – to tell an impossible story that disarms the reader’s scepticism Sam Jordison The Guardian When asked how he started writing fiction, Gabriel García Márquez told the Paris Review that it began with Kafka’s The Metamorphosis: “The first line almost knocked me off the bed. I was so surprised. It reads: ‘As Gregor Samsa awoke… Gabriel García Marquez… Read More »

A Zen master reveals the giveaway signs of a toxic person and the most powerful way to deal with them

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We’ve all come across toxic people before. You know, the type of person that can be manipulative, judgmental and inconsiderate of anyone’s feelings. Hack Spirit It can hard to deal with these people, especially if you’re forced to every single day. That’s why I thought the advice below from a Zen master on Reddit was quite remarkable. But first, let’s define what a… A Zen master… Read More »

Supporting people in crisis a real privilege

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This week is National Volunteer Week, an annual celebration to acknowledge the contribution of Australia’s volunteers. Adrian Momber The West Australian I have been one of Lifeline WA’s volunteer crisis supporters for nearly two years. The reason I volunteered was that I grew up understanding and supporting my mother, who had bipolar disorder and had attempted suicide more than once, and I always intended to… Supporting people in… Read More »

Police in Turkey raid publisher’s offices, confiscate 2,000 books

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Police in Turkey raided the offices of Belge Publishing in Istanbul and confiscated 2,000 books, reported Turkish language media. KOMNEWS The prominent independent publisher, set up 40 years ago by writer-journalist Ragip Zarakolu and his late wife human rights advocate Aysenur Zarakolu, and known for publishing controversial and critical books, was raided by a team of anti… According to reports, the… Police in Turkey… Read More »

Saudi king orders that women no longer need a man’s permission to travel, study or make police complaints

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Saudi Arabia to give women more control over their life choices by relaxing male guardian system is welcomed as another small step for women in the kingdom. GulfInsider Saudi Arabia is well known to be one of the world’s most gender-segregated nations, where women live under the supervision of a male guardian, cannot drive, and must wear head-to… Women need approval from a… Saudi king orders… Read More »

Australia’s grand mufti wins defamation case over News Corp articles

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Media group consents to judgment as part of settlement with Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, after paper said he had not condemned Paris attacks Christopher Knaus The Guardian Australia’s grand mufti has won a defamation case over News Corp articles depicting him as an “unwise” monkey and asserting he had failed to condemn the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris. News Corp consented to the judgment as part of a confidential… Australia’s grand mufti… Read More »

The 100 most innovative universities in Europe 2017

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KU Leuven tops Reuters’ 2017 ranking of the strongest institutions for advancing science and inventing new technologies. Ellie Bothwell Source: iStock KU Leuven, Imperial College London and the University of Cambridge have topped a new ranking of Europe’s most innovative universities. The Belgian institution again takes pole position in Reuters’ second annual ranking of Europe’s Most Innovative Universities in part due to… The 100 most… Read More »

The Metamorphosis

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In A Nutshell You don’t get your last name turned into a synonym for deeply disturbed alienation unless you write some pretty messed-up stuff. And The Metamorphosis is considered to be about as Kafkaesque as Kafka gets. Franz Kafka … that’s a compliment. A really huge one. The Metamorphosis is a story about a man, Gregor Samsa, who wakes up as a gigantic, incredibly disgusting bug. Gregor’s totally abrupt and unexplained transformation is juxtaposed with a… The Metamorphosis… Read More »

Pope Francis in Egypt in push for ‘fraternity’

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Pope Francis landed in the Egyptian capital on April 28 to promote “unity and fraternity” with Muslims and Christians, who have suffered a series of jihadist… Hurriyet The visit is a “voyage of unity and fraternity,” the pontiff told reporters before he disembarked in Cairo airport to be greeted by Catholic priests and Egyptian Prime Minister Sharif… It is “less than two days but very intense,” he… Pope Francis in… Read More »

Record books sales as e-reading loses out to words on a page

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Scottish publishers have welcomed record book sales, including a boom in printed titles at the expense of the e… Alistair Dalton The Scotsman Books, digital books and journals combined notched up a new high of £4.8 billion last year, the Publishers Association… Sales of printed books were up by 8 per cent to £3bn – the highest for four years – but e-books were down by 3 per cent to… Non-fiction titles put on 9 per cent to £884m, boosted ... Read More »

Remembering fallen war heroes is insincere if it excludes those suffering today

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Yassmin Abdel-Magied does not deserve nastiness – many Muslim Australians know the tragedy of war better than… Mariam Tokhi The Guardian As a first-generation Muslim Australian, I’ve often wondered what Anzac Day should mean to… The furore (and social media savagery) over Yasmin Abdel-Magied’s seven words have reignited that… Remembering fallen war… Read More »

Jakarta governor Ahok invokes Finding Nemo in blasphemy trial defence

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Jakarta: Beleaguered outgoing Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama has revealed an unexpected source of inspiration as he fights allegations of… Jewel Topsfield Karuni Rompies The Sydney Morning Herald A week after losing the gubernatorial election to former education minister Anies Baswedan, the maverick governor known to all as Ahok mounted a… He told of inviting kindergarten children to watch a scene from the… Jakarta governor Ahok… Read More »

‘Cultural step change’ called for over Scottish school meals

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Scotland’s school meals need to be transformed “from a feeding culture to an eating culture”, an obesity charity has… Jane Bradley The Scotsman Obesity Action Scotland said that the school dining experience varies dramatically across the country and called for schools to… This comes after a Scotland on Sunday investigation last year revealed a… ‘Cultural step change… Read More »

This ancient building material could fuel a future infrastructure boom

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Last month, Bangladesh’s capital city became home to the world’s first cell tower constructed entirely out of bamboo — proof that emerging… Nyshka Chandran CNBC Developed by Malaysian infrastructure services firm edotco and the Bangladesh University of Engineering, the tower took just 12 days to build, versus… Bamboo boasts a low carbon footprint as it… This ancient building… Read More »

What is the historical evidence that Jesus Christ lived and died?

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Today some claim that Jesus is just an idea, rather than a real historical figure, but there is a good deal of written evidence for his… Dr Simon Gathercole The Guardian How confident can we be that Jesus Christ actually lived? The historical evidence for Jesus of Nazareth is both long-established and… Within a few decades of his supposed lifetime, he is mentioned by Jewish and Roman historians, as well as by dozens of… What is the… Read More »

An atheist at Greek Easter

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The paradox. I do not believe in god, yet I can never escape him on Πάσχα, Pascha, Pesach or Easter. By Fotis Kapetopoulos Daily Review The bombing of a Coptic church in Egypt last week on Palm Sunday is one more sectarian atrocity in the Middle… However, the considered silence from much of the Left as Christians burn in the Middle East angers… An atheist at… Read More »