To walk through the ruined cities of Germany is to feel an actual doubt about the continuity of civilisation.For one has to remember that it is not only Germany that has been blitzed.

London theatres: the West End has been having a quiet time this week - perhaps the beginning of the pre-Christmas lull.Tomorrow a successful "thriller" - Murder Mistaken - transfers to the Vaudeville theatre from the Ambassadors, where, on Tuesday, another play of the same sort - The Mousetrap - opens.

The street where I used to live is behind the Nollendorfplatz, about ten minutes' walk from my hotel.Only a very young and frivolous foreigner, I thought, could have lived in such a place and found it amusing.

I can think of few recent poems as free from jargon, vulgarity, and smartness as those in this book.Her work lacks every quality traditionally associated with the title "poetess": there is no domesticity, no cosiness, and "love poems of a personal nature," the introduction tells us, "have also gone.

Whatever its merits, In Cold Blood is already more than a book: it is a happening.First printed in four instalments in The New Yorker, Mr Truman Capote's reportage has since been sold to the films and for publication in fifteen languages.

To answer that question, the nature of Israel's situation must be considered as unemotionally as possible.And the basic fact of Israel's situation is that this little State was created where Arabs had lived.

Yet it would be wrong to claim that the later poems represent any radical alteration of poetic method.Only mediocrities develop, Wilde said, and if Betjeman could hit the target so unerringly at 25 he had clearly no need to change.

It certainly develops still further the stature and muscle of a director who, after "2001, A Space Odyssey," could have been forgiven if he had found nowhere much to go.It trumps that ace just as "2001" trumped "Dr Strangelove.

The jury's verdict on Lady Chatterley's Lover is a triumph of common sense - and the more pleasing because it was unexpected.Lawrence emphasises that where harshness or brutality exist a couple cannot come to a full and harmonious relationship together.

It is significant of the modern critical climate that not once in the trial was the word 'aesthetics' mentioned.The voice hounded Connie Chatterley, a traitress to her class in that she not only enjoyed sex, but enjoyed it with a quasi-peasant.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richard, of the Rolling Stones group, and Robert Hugh Fraser, director of a London art gallery, were sent for trial at West Sussex Quarter Sessions at Chichester yesterday on charges involving drugs.Richard is charged with permitting his house at West Wittering to be used for the smoking of cannabis resin on February 12.

The First Circle is a major work: more important and more convincing than the version of the first part of Cancer Ward which was published a few weeks ago.But having another Government means what it says: another source of information and values; another centre of decision and truth.

So much so, in fact, that people in the street in France say "Look, there's M.And if they have seen bits of Hulot in others, he has been telling the truth.

New York Marilyn Monroe was found dead in bed this morning in her home in Hollywood, only a physical mile or two, but a social universe, away from the place where she was born 36 years ago as Norma Jean Baker.For Americans, the last chapter was written on the weekend that a respectable national picture magazine printed for the delectation of her troubled fans a confessional piece called "Marilyn Monroe pours out her soul.

Conditions appeared to be improving yesterday after two days of mud, hunger, and thirst.The audience was relaxed, and drug use appeared to have tapered off.

Calls to the Soviet Embassy here went unanswered and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been equally silent.A main clue has come from the Federal Minister of Immigration, Mr Robert Andras.

Sir, Michael Billington cannot have read the plays of George Bernard Shaw since his Oxford days.To call him "the greatest British dramatist since Shakespeare' is close to having a critical brainstorm, as well as perpetuating an exam-crazy classroom myth.

Since the day he wrote How Green Was My Valley, Richard Llewellyn has been out of the country.He threw away several others before writing How Green Was My Valley.

And sport, the paper always fancied itself for sports writing.Till then, it had always been a Tory paper, although an irregular one under the 34-year editorship of J L Garvin.