Jonathan Dollimore

Jonathan Dollimore’s books include Death, Desire and Loss in Western Culture and Sex, Literature and Censorship.

Vehicles of Dissatisfaction: Men and Motors

Jonathan Dollimore, 24 July 2003

“As anyone who has broken down on the motorway will know, to stand at the side, waiting for rescue, is a revelation. Nothing better conveys the frictional violence of speed. Whatever impression you may get sitting inside a vehicle, cars don’t glide over roads. The sound of rubber on tarmac at speed is a scream which hits your ears a second before the wind turbulence knocks you off balance. And it’s seemingly unending, like the infinitely repeated punishments of hell. Lumps of rubber lie there too, remnants of collision or fatigue, the debris of life in the fast lane.”

Diary: Depression Studies

Jonathan Dollimore, 23 August 2001

On my way to kill myself one hot day in July 1991, I stopped to fill up with the petrol necessary to see the job through. An old woman with heavy shopping bags was trying to cross the road. She was staggering and in danger of being run down. I offered help. She asked me to call a taxi to take her home. There was no phone so I offered to take her myself. With difficulty I got her into the car....

Letter

Faculty at War

17 June 1982

SIR: Tom Paulin’s review of Re-Reading English mocks its contributors but also represents the new work in English Studies as insidious, a nihilistic symptom of ‘a self-conscious civilisation turning in disgust upon itself. Paulin’s review is a striking instance of one aspect of the reactionary temper of both culture and politics in this country at the present time. The fact that these...

Literary theory is in love with failure. It looks with distaste on whatever is integral, self-identical, smugly replete, and is fascinated by lack, belatedness, deadlock, self-undoing. Works of...

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The Straight and the Bent

Elaine Showalter, 23 April 1992

In 1895, at a café in Algiers, Oscar Wilde procured a young Arab musician for André Gide, and thereby launched the French writer into a new life. It probably wasn’t Gide’s...

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Shakespeares

David Norbrook, 18 July 1985

‘Shakespeare one gets acquainted with without knowing how. It is part of an Englishman’s constitution.’ Henry Crawford’s comment in Mansfield Park is a reminder that...

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