- Making a scene
July 20, 2013
Artists share bizarre anecdotes that highlight the unpredictable nature of performance art.
- Long read, short shrift
July 13, 2013
From e-singles to Twitterature, writing goes short.
- When shoelaces speak
July 13, 2013
Intizar Husain writes about people who like kites, have had their strings cut.
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Anne Rice's erotic Sleeping Beauty
Women like it hot
The famous vampire novelist Anne Rice has spoken up for women's right to enjoy sexual fantasies - both real and literary - without being made to feel ashamed. Rice's erotic retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairytale which she wrote in the '80s is being re-released by Penguin - to cash in on the best-selling erotica wave created by E L James' Fifty Shades of Grey. Rice wrote her trilogy under the pseudonym AN Roquelaure because she needed the anonymity to write freely and unselfconsciously. In her retelling, the princess is awakened with much more than a kiss and the prince's reward for ending her 100 years of sleep is "Beauty's complete and total enslavement to him". In the new foreword, Rice puts forth a feminist argument for erotica, pointing out that since men have always enjoyed all kinds of pornography, "How can it be wrong for women to have the same right? We're sexual beings! And fantasy is where we can do the things we can't do in ordinary life. . . The novel Fifty Shades of Grey has proved this. And I am discovering that the Beauty books, in spite of all their playful excess, are for the first time going mainstream. The whole world knows women are sensual human beings as well as men. It's no secret anymore that women want to read sexy fiction just as men do, and there's a new frankness about the varieties of fantasies one might enjoy. So many cliches have been broken and abandoned. And this is a wonderful thing. "
The Fuhrer's mail
Between 1925 and 1945 thousands of ordinary Germans - children, teachers, students, priests, businessmen, housewives - wrote letters to the Fuhrer. Lost for decades, a large cache of these letters was recently discovered in the KGB Special Archive in Moscow, having been carted off to Russia by the Soviet Secret Police at the end of the war. Now for the first time, these letters have been published in book form - Letters to Hitler, edited by University of Halle lecturer Henrik Eberle, is the first volume to be published in English. Of course Hitler never read these letters, and his bureaucrats either did or didn't, but they provide a chilling insight into the ardent fan base that Hitler enjoyed. The letters range from gushing love letterss - 'I love you so much. Write to me, please, ' from a seven-year-old girl and an 80-page illustrated and hand-bound Christmas letter from a young woman who rose to be a Nazi official - to those expressing gratitude for restoring dignity to the German people. There were even letters from a Ukrainian archbishop and from the German Evangelical Church congratulating Hitler for fighting "godless" Bolshevism. The overwhelming majority are star-struck and even worshipful of the strong-arm tactics employed by Hitler to "enforce law and order" and "restore German glory" but equally important are the few dissenting, protest letters, like the one that someone from Switzerland wrote. It was a single sentence but it said everything: "There has been enough murdering. "
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