Ольга Долгих

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Before Marvel and DC: Superheroes of the ancient world

Comic book tales of masked do-gooders now dominate cinemas, but these stories are not new – in fact, they have their origins in antiquity, writes Natalie Haynes.<p>Over the past few years, even the most ardent comic book nerd might have wondered if there were too many superhero movies playing in the …

Why is Canadian English unique?

America’s neighbour resisted annexation by the US and its people remained subjects of the British monarch. But Canada’s English isn’t British or American, writes James Harbeck.<p>Is there such a thing as Canadian English? If so, what is it?<p>The standard stereotype among Americans is that Canadians are …

Where do zombies come from?

Our contemporary take on the lumbering undead is actually rooted in Voodoo folklore from the Caribbean, writes Roger Luckhurst.<p>Fans of the undead can hardly wait, because The Walking Dead, US TV’s highest-rated scripted drama, returns again this autumn for another season of grim survival amidst the …

The mysterious origins of punctuation

Commas, semicolons and question marks are so commonplace it seems as if they were always there – but that’s not the case. Keith Houston explains their history.<p>As readers and writers, we’re intimately familiar with the dots, strokes and dashes that punctuate the written word. The comma, colon, …

Why Legend won’t be the next Scarface

Legend is about gangsters, but don’t expect another Scarface. Why are British film mobsters so much more fallible – and funny – than those in the US? Nicholas Barber reports.<p>Brian Helgeland’s new film Legend is a gangster movie, which means you can expect guns, nightclubs, sharp suits and fast …

Courtesans and street walkers: Prostitutes in art

Prostitution was a central part of daily life in late 19th Century Paris. It is key to understanding the art of the times – and everything that followed, writes Jason Farago.<p>We too often stereotype Impressionism and the other tendencies of French painting before and around 1900: a collection of …