In one of the very best episodes of Seinfeld, Jerry and his girlfriend are caught kissing during a performance of Schindler’s List. His Jewish parents are predictably shocked and disappointed. ‘You were making out during Schindler’s List? … How could you do such a thing?’ Elliot Perlman’s third novel, The Street Sweeper, a sprawling paean to the world’s neglected and dispossessed that takes both the American Civil Rights Movement and the Holocaust as its primary subjects, wears something of Mr and Mrs Seinfeld’s understandable po-face.
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'"Dutch Light" roots its subject in his local environment, explaining, for example, how an abundance of sand for making glass led naturally to a thriving business in optical instruments in Holland.'
Patricia Fara on the life & work of Christiaan Huygens.
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'We may not be able to shield ourselves from irrational passions such as hatred, anger, envy, mockery and pride, or from the buffetings of circumstance, but we can rise above them by obtaining insight into their nature and their causes.'