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5+ Works 351 Membros 10 Críticas

About the Author

Charlie English has held numerous positions at The Guardian, most recently as head of international news. A fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the author of a previous book, The Snow Tourist, he first journeyed to Africa at nineteen, and has traveled widely there and elsewhere around the mostrar mais globe. He lives in London with his family. mostrar menos
Image credit: Charlie English, Photo: © Nicola Hippisley

Obras por Charlie English

Associated Works

The Greek Myths: The Power of Love (2008) — Series editor, algumas edições11 exemplares
The Greek Myths: Origins of the gods (2008) — Series Editor — 10 exemplares
The Greek Myths: Jason and the Argonauts (2008) — Series editor, algumas edições7 exemplares
The Greek Myths: the Trojan War (2008) — Series editor, algumas edições7 exemplares
The Greek Myths: The Odyssey (2008) — Series editor, algumas edições6 exemplares
The Greek Myths: Thebes (2008) — Series editor, algumas edições6 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Local de nascimento
York, Yorkshire, England, UK
Locais de residência
East Riding of Yorkshire, England, UK
London, England, UK
Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
London, England, UK
Imperial College London (BEng|Electrical Engineering)
Guardian News & Media (arts editor, associate editor, head of international news, chief foreign leader writer)
Victoria Hobbs

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Charlie English was born in York in 1967. He was brought up in the East Riding of Yorkshire, and studied Electrical Engineering in London before moving to Pakistan for his first job in journalism. He has worked for the Independent, French television and the Guardian, where he is currently associate editor of the paper.



Deceptive book cover; most of the books were smuggled in "lockers" (the photographs in the book showed them as metal trunks). Good bit of journalistic writing about Timbuktu, it's people and events between 2012 - 2015 especially concerning the manuscripts and books during the Malian civil war. The book alternates chapters between these events and the history of Europeans quest to discover Timbuktu from 1788. Fairly interesting and well researched.
AChild | 3 outras críticas | Apr 11, 2024 |
I really liked how the author kept his personal story integrated with the informative aspects of the book. Too much factual data and it becomes textbook-like and boring, too much personal introspection and it becomes self-indulgent; the author kept the perfect balance. I also liked the final chapter, "A Snow Handbook", which is simply a collection of interesting bits and pieces about snow that didn't fit anywhere. For example, there are lists of books and movies that are snow-related, quotes from poetry, random factoids about snow, and illustrated instructions on how to build an igloo. I highly recommend this book.… (mais)
blueskygreentrees | 3 outras críticas | Jul 30, 2023 |
So, this turns out to be a rather complicated work, though the guts of it deals with the elevation of what is now called "outsider art," as practiced by the resident patients of the German mental health institutions, and as publicized by one Hans Prinzhorn, a somewhat sketchy psychiatrist who used this art to try and elevate the humanity of its producers. This became something of a faddish enthusiasm for numerous avant-garde artists; particularly of surrealist persuasion. The foil to this were disdainful cultural conservatives, who with scorn referred to the artists and their works as "degenerate;" including Adolph Hitler, the greatest enemy of degeneracy in Germany.

Where this all comes together is in the Nazi cultural "action" simply referred to as "Degenerate Art," where elite modern art was contrasted with the work of the mental patients, in the hopes of discrediting the whole enterprise. This is before "Aktion T4," the Nazi's first exercise in industrial murder, which did away with ten of thousands of German mental patients; including most of the artists Prinzhorn touted. English delves into this "event" in rather greater detail than I have previously seen, and it makes for real jaw-clinching reading.

As for Prinzhorn himself, he was fortunate to pass away before he lived to see his greatest achievement dragged through the gutter; though he was drifting into the Nazi orbit, having long lost his charismatic self-belief.
… (mais)
Shrike58 | 1 outra crítica | Aug 2, 2022 |
This extraordinary piece of work might be read in conjunction with Mary Lane's Hitler's Last Hostages. While Lane's excellent book covers some of the same ground, it focuses more on the Nazi looting of museums and private art collections to feed Hitler's own art obsession and desire for glorification of a new Aryan culture. English delves into the dark flip side (did you think it could get even darker ?): the demonization of modern art as exemplified in the Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) exhibition, specifically as a propaganda tool. This was built in association with a collection of art works - drawings, paintings, sculptures, and whatever media was available - done by the inmates of psychiatric institutions across Germany, assembled by an art historian turned psychiatrist named Hans Prinzhorn. Prinzhorn collected, studied, examined and published a book of hundreds of these works, and championed them as more than just proof or examples of the patients' pathologies, but as worthy works of creativity and artistry. Modern European artists were astounded and inspired by them. Hitler's cronies seized on the "art of insanity" and deliberately exhibited them side by side with the "degenerate" modern art they loathed as an object lesson in the imminent destruction of German culture: Look! These degenerate artists want us all to be like this! Crazy, ugly, insane - bet you can't pick out the ones by the lunatics from the so-called 'real' artists! This is what THEY want us to be! This is what these museums are spending your tax money on! It was all part of a carefully crafted campaign to vilify "the Other" and herald the new age to come of sunlit soldiers, beautiful blonde mothers, and apple-cheeked children in sunny meadows. Which meant that all those defective people - disabled, mentally ill, ugly - were "lives not deserving lives," "ballast lives," only undermining Germany's future and costing txpayers money. In fact, they were so expensive that it was recommended to asylum administrators to starve or beat them to death because it was cheaper than shipping them to the gas chambers (which they also did, loading up postal service buses to ferry them in). The hospitals and asylums were emptied of 70,000 disabled and mentally ill people, including children, who were then methodically murdered. And then their families were to be checked out, since they "produced" these defective people, it seemed likely they carried the defects also, and so... As much as we already know about Nazi horrors, it seems there are always more depths to which they went. And still, there were heroes who resisted them: the president of the German psychiatrists association objected, and helped hospitals hide their endangered patients. His name was Karl Bonhoeffer, father of Dietrich (and another son besides - also butchered by the Nazis).

English introduces us to Prinzhorn and many of the artists, their work, and what became of them all (virtually every artist he collected was killed by the Nazis). It is an astonishing story, and fleshes out the role of art: not just as loot and bragging rights, but as a tool for the inculcation, explication, and justification of evil. The writing is brisk and vivid, as befits a veteran Guardian journalist covering the arts and international affairs. I wish the notes had been handled differently: supporting notes are collected in the back of the book, but not linked to pages or specific references, and rather are prose passages themselves. A good writer like English could have woven some of the supporting facts into the text, and then done a standard bibliography / footnote list, rather than make me keep flipping back and forth!

In the 1960s, a psychiatry trainee at the Heidelberg hospital opened up a myseriously locked cupboard in a side room. There were the stacks and bundles of the fragile art works of the murdered inmates of Prinzhorn's era. They have been cleaned, restored, and now have their own museum, library, and exhibition space. As they should. Ruhe in Frieden.
… (mais)
JulieStielstra | 1 outra crítica | Aug 20, 2021 |


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