Alan Cochrane Follow 17 August 2019 • 12:01am In an increasingly secular society with church attendances apparently plummeting everywhere, how come people – even atheists – believe in angels? That was one of the posers that Richard Holloway, the former Episcopal bishop of Edinburgh, put before what he reckoned was a predominately Presbyterian audience at the International Book Festival yesterday. I’m not at all sure that he was correct in the latter assumption but there is no doubt that the belief in angels transcends all Christian denominations, as well as those of Judaism and Islam. That much we learned in the interview conducted by the now "Mr" Holloway – he’s renounced his faith as well as his bishopric – with theologian Peter Stanford... To continue reading this article Start your free trial of Premium Access all Premium articles Subscriber-only events Cancel any time Free for 30 days … [Read more...] about Book festival audience asked: who believes in angels?
Edinburgh international book festival
0 Have your say Organisers of the Edinburgh International Book Festival have accused city council chiefs of hampering efforts to stage events in one of the New Town’s main thoroughfares.Director Nick Barley said the city was missing an “open goal” to tackle concerns around crowd congestion in the Old Town by not doing more to ensure George Street was full of festival activity rather than traffic in August.Mr Barley said the council was making it “impossible” for anyone to stage financially viable activities due to demands they must stump up compensation for lost parking charges. He suggested a five-year event plan to encourage a greater spread of festival activity into the New Town. Mr Barley also called for more “joined-up thinking=” from the council, which has wants to improve the “pedestrian experience” on George Street and re-sign it to make it more suitable for events. It recently secured … [Read more...] about Edinburgh Book Festival boss furious over George Street bills
0 Have your say The classics never really go away. But, though there have been excellent novels by people like my colleague Allan Massie on the Roman Empire or Robert Harris on Cicero, (or I, Claudius by Robert Graves for that matter, or Gore Vidal’s Julian), something rather different seems to be happening at present. There are an awful lot of novels by women engaging with the mythology and history of the Graeco-Roman world. In the past few years I have read Margaret Atwood reimagining The Odyssey with the The Penelopiad, Pat Barker’s reworking of The Iliad in The Silence Of The Girls, Madeline Miller on Circe and Achilles, Ali Smith’s Boy Meets Girl, and Natalie Haynes with The Amber Fury, The Children Of Jocasta and A Thousand Ships. One has to wonder why, in this age of bread and circuses, tyrants and chancers, we are drawn back to literature thousands of years old.Rowan Hisayo Buchanan is the latest in this playlist. Starling Days is a bit … [Read more...] about Book review: Starling Days, by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
Edinburgh’s arts and cultural festivals have lobbied ministers to introduce a more flexible visa system, fearing European artists could be barred from entering the UK after Brexit without urgent reforms. Nick Barley, the director of the Edinburgh international book festival, said there was concern that performers from the EU would face the same visa restrictions as artists from the Middle East, Africa and south Asia. A dozen authors due to take part in last year’s book festival were denied visas, including the Palestinian writer Nayrouz Qarmout who was refused entry three times before the Home Office eventually relented. Some were told they had too much money and others not enough. Festivals Edinburgh, the umbrella body for 11 of the city’s arts and cultural festivals, met Caroline Nokes, the immigration minister, in London on Wednesday to lobby for more flexibility. Julia Amour, the director of Festivals Edinburgh, said after the meeting: “Complex visa rules … [Read more...] about Edinburgh arts festivals lobby for urgent visa reforms
0 Have your say A city MSP is calling for special “festival visas” to stop overseas artists and performers heading for Edinburgh’s arts extravaganza being refused entry to the country. Edinburgh Pentlands SNP MSP Gordon MacDonald will make the plea to the UK government, which is in charge of immigration rules, during a debate in the Scottish Parliament tomorrow. He said since the Conservative government had introduced hard-line visa controls, applications for performers had been hit by refusals, errors and delays, with some acclaimed international writers, actors and musicians forced to cancel trips.Mr MacDonald said: “Edinburgh is well recognised as the world’s leading festival city. With audiences of a staggering 4.5 million, the festivals generate an incredible economic impact of £280 million in Edinburgh and £313m in Scotland in total. “Our reputation is being damaged and our international positioning being put … [Read more...] about ‘Festival visas’ urged to allow performers into Edinburgh