Creativity and the arts

Stories and literature


The plague novel you need to read is by Bachmann, not Camus

In Ingeborg Bachmann’s Malina, the plague isn’t a biological virus, it doesn’t cause lockdowns, but it is killing us

by Lyndsey Stonebridge

History of ideas


Ancient Indian texts reveal the liberating power of metaphysics

Indian metaphysics presented a philosophical route to a higher level of existence beyond limits of space and time

by Jessica Frazier

Technology and media


Let’s use bold, beautiful hearing aids to celebrate deafness

Hearing aids have always been designed to be concealed, yet they’re a beautiful affirmation of deafness – and should be seen

by Jaipreet Virdi

Altered states


A touch of absurdity can help to wrap your mind around reality

And now for something completely different: how a dose of the surreal or absurd helps to make sense of our place in the world

by David Robson

Pleasures and pastimes


Feel free to stop striving: learn to relish being an amateur

When I rekindled my relationship with the piano and tapped into my inner amateur, I discovered a quiet room of my own

by Xenia Hanusiak

Stories and literature


Reading books is not just a pleasure: it helps our minds to heal

Through my own struggles and in teaching bibliotherapy to students, I know that books can help to heal minds and hearts

by Peter Leyland

Traditional arts


Could the art of ‘sashiko’ help to mend our frayed world?

The Japanese art of ‘sashiko’ celebrates the rough edges of life. Could this be the patchwork solution for our frayed selves?

by Melanie McGrath

Beauty and aesthetics


What happens if we make the Mona Lisa more symmetrical?

The Golden Ratio and symmetry are two universal rules of beauty. The problem is they conflict with one another

by Manil Suri