ONE 3 • Putting Yourself in the Picture

When director Michel Gondry wrote his latest feature, Be Kind Rewind, it seems likely that he worked out the solution to his plot before coming up with the problem it subsequently resolved…


ONE 3 • A Swedish Reality Show since 1891

Reality vs fiction—what do we really mean when we make such a distinction? In this age when almost anything can be replicated and mass-produced, many of us long for something we perceive to be truly authentic. On television there is such a variety of programmes with documentary-like content, it is hard to draw the line between fiction and what is actually caught by a camera.


ONE 3 • Mean City to Big Apple III: Heading South

Christmas in New York means doing some really touristy activities. First I took a train up to mid-town to see the ice-skating and the huge tree in Rockefeller Center, then trotted along to Radio City Music Hall to see the legendary Rockettes—which was the most spectacular show I have ever seen. Sharp choreography, talented dancers and elaborate costumes, light toys, soda and pretzels make for one fine afternoon. Me and my partner were sitting in the very front row of a peculiarly quiet audience. No one else seemed to feel the need to join our screams and our whoops, except for a few little girls in the seats just behind us. At times we whipped ourselves into a frenzy along with hundreds of dancing Santas, dancing girls and jumping bears. Then, the serious bit. Everything goes quiet, and they wheel out the baby Jesus and bring some enormous real camels onto the stage, and re-enact the wise men scene just before the curtain falls. A stark contrast to the product placements and neon nativities that littered the first half of the show. Shopping seduction and spiritual realignment American style — all in one af read more —>

ONE 3 • Prisons, Cemeteries and Concentration Camps: them & us

Last spring, I began to teach creative writing at Polmont Young Offenders Institution, a prison for young men in Scotland. Society would like to believe prisons are liminal: prisoners go in, spend some time, are rehabilitated, come out reformed.

At the end of my first visit, when I walked out, I left the front door open. My escort-guard smiled and said, “Hey Martin, close the door, it is a prison, remember?”


ONE 3 • Beyond the Troubles

These photographs, taken in February 2004, document the Northern Irish city of Derry-Londonderry, which, after decades of sectarian violence (known as “the Troubles”), has achieved peace.


ONE 3 • The Music of Chance: A Conversation with Sheila Colvin

“It’s been a mess and yet it hasn’t been a mess.” Sheila Colvin has had an extraordinary international career in the arts—including playing an vital role in the Edinburgh International Festival. JANE McKIE talks to her about the adventure of a “completely unstructured life” that took her to London, New York and Rio de Janeiro.


ONE 3 • Culture Shock: an interview with Iain M. Banks

Almost quarter of a century after he made his explosive debut with The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks is still shaking up the literary world. ANDREW J. WILSON discusses space, time and middle initials with one of our greatest contemporary authors.


ONE 3 • Poetspace 3: Mary Palmer, Steve Plummer and Kevin Cadwallender

~in memory of Players
Edwin Booth & Samuel Clemens~
Words are nets through which all truth escapes”
– Paula Fox


ONE 3 • Under the Rising Sun: Some Impressions of Japan

Science-fiction author CHARLES STROSS really has seen the future, but he didn’t need a crystal ball or a time machine to do it. All it took was a long-haul flight to the other side of the world…


ONE 3 • Orwell’s Sound of Silence

As Niels Bohr said, “Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.” George Orwell never claimed to be a prophet, but as ANDREW B. SMITH shows, his thoughts about the trends of his time still resonate today.


ONE 3 • Orwell and the Scots

Orwell’s early attitude to the Scots and Scotland could best be described as frosty.

In his excellent biography, Bernard Crick refers to the period during 1934 when Orwell had a girlfriend in Hampstead, a member of the Labour League of Youth, who remembered that he talked little about politics, “except to curse the Empire and the Scots by whom he appeared to imagine it dominated’”.


ONE 3 • Happy Hour: New Fiction from Edinburgh’s Makar

She called her pack of pills her very own Advent calendar—her chemical countdown to a good day or to a very good day. The choice was hers…


ONE 3 • Paris Notes: Plus Ça Change Plus c’est la Même Chose, However…


(The more things change the more they remain the same, however…)

“Je t’aime, ô capitale infâme!”
—Charles Baudelaire (“Le Spleen de Paris”)


ONE 3 • American Baseball in Black and White


“Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball, the rules and realities of the game—and do it by watching first some high school or small-town teams.”

—Jacques Barzun

ONE 3 • Tasting Notes: Vinyl Solution

A desire to dim my presence in the eye-watering constellation of celebrity explains my preference for the Balmoral Palm Court Bar. A location where such Appellations de Hollywood Contrôlée as Tom Hanks and Jack Burns sojourn is the ideal spot for Vins de Pays such as myself to pass unobserved. Vins de Table rarely intrude, but alas, I do have my followers.