John Sturrock

John Sturrock was the LRB’s consulting editor from 1993 until his death in August 2017. He had been the deputy editor of the TLS for many years before that. He translated Stendhal, Victor Hugo, Georges Perec and Proust, among others; and wrote books on Borges, structuralism, autobiography and the Pyrenees. The View from Paris, a collection of essays on postwar French intellectuals, was published in 1998. Many of those essays first appeared in the LRB, along with occasional pieces on cricket.

Short Cuts: Blair’s Convictions

John Sturrock, 24 May 2007

Had the Labour Party he led borne even a passing resemblance to the Labour Party we thought we had elected into government in 1997, we would not have had to endure the unnecessary and insulting performance that Tony Blair put on last week in the uterine comfort of his constituency in the North-East: that other Labour Party could never have followed him so slavishly wherever he chose to take...

Short Cuts: Plain Sailing

John Sturrock, 26 April 2007

Island race or not, we have not been doing at all well when putting out to sea in past weeks. First, in the benign setting of the Caribbean, the vice-captain and muscular icon of the England one-day cricket eleven, Freddie Flintoff, was sacked from the vice-captaincy, though not, for sure, from his iconicity, for having had a great deal too much to drink before driving a pedalo out into the...

Short Cuts: Don't Bother to Read

John Sturrock, 22 March 2007

A few years ago, a brilliant small book on detective fiction appeared in France called Qui a tué Roger Ackroyd? It got talked about at the time for demonstrating, rather neatly it was thought (by the then sitting tenant of this space in the LRB, Thomas Jones, among others), that at the end of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Hercule Poirot hit on a wrong solution to the crime, that the too...

In the Sunday Times of 1 October, the home secretary was reported as having it in mind to ‘strip some terror suspects of the automatic right to be protected from torture’, should ministers rule that there were ‘overriding considerations of national security’. Knowing as we do that ‘overriding’ here means that considerations so labelled cannot on security...

How stupid people are: Flaubert

John Sturrock, 7 September 2006

Of the three books that Gustave Flaubert was able to write only after a lengthy cohabitation with his sources, Bouvard et Pécuchet is by some way the most approachable. The other two are exhibition pieces, admirable for their form but keeping their distance, full as they are of the rare knowledge he had come to by his reading. In La Tentation de Saint Antoine, the desert-dwelling...

The Thing: Versions of Proust

Michael Wood, 6 January 2005

What was it Proust said about paradise? That all paradises are lost paradises? That the only true paradise is a lost paradise? That it isn’t paradise until it’s lost? That paradise is...

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John Sturrock’s little book is the best single guide to its subject that has yet appeared. Structuralism and Since demands, though, that its title be taken literally. It traces, technically...

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