If they thought about it all, most people would assume that a Chief of Protocol is someone who determines the mise à places at state banquets and keeps visiting dignitaries from sitting on their hats; a Mikadoesque figure performing a necessary but faintly absurd function. It’s surprising therefore to discover that the author of Keeper of the Gate – Chief of Protocol of the United States of America from March 1982 to January 1989 – was a woman of considerable power in the Reagan administration. This memoir describes the odyssey of an exotic-looking Arab girl from Tennessee to a position of influence in the White House.
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'It remains a poem comprised of clay fragments, short and long, and though the desert delivers up occasional additional text, we are a long way from a whole poem.'
Michael Schmidt on the oldest surviving poem in the world.
'Apparently if you’re a teenager and you send a declaration of love to someone heart emoji, heart emoji, heart emoji and they come back smiley face, that’s the worst.'
Thomas Blaikie tries to get his head round the language of the internet.
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