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Four Funerals and a Wedding

Andrew O’Hagan: If something happens to me…, 5 May 2005

... the chiselled words seeming to embody in some powerful and menacing way the mysteries of faith. In the via Monserrato, a few weeks before the pope’s death, the light seemed yellow against the rain, and Rome seemed a place not of eternities but of passing trade. Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor entered the restaurant in his civilian uniform of ...

70 Centimetres and Rising

John Whitfield: Plate tectonics, 3 February 2005

The Earth: An Intimate History 
by Richard Fortey.
Harper Perennial, 501 pp., £9.99, March 2005, 0 00 655137 8
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... plates, which could slide over and alongside one another, as well as diverging. In 1967, Jason Morgan and Dan McKenzie independently worked out how these plates could move about the Earth, driven by Holmes’s mantle convection. Finally, in 1968, Xavier Le Pichon used this work, along with catalogues of the sites of earthquakes, to build a global map of ...


Eric Hobsbawm: Communism in Britain, 26 April 2007

The Lost World of British Communism 
by Raphael Samuel.
Verso, 244 pp., £19.99, November 2006, 1 84467 103 8
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Communists and British Society 1920-91 
by Kevin Morgan, Gidon Cohen and Andrew Flinn.
Rivers Oram, 356 pp., £16.99, January 2007, 978 1 85489 145 7
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Bolshevism and the British Left, Part One: Labour Legends and Russian Gold 
by Kevin Morgan.
Lawrence and Wishart, 320 pp., £18.99, March 2007, 978 1 905007 25 7
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... melancholy empathy for an irrecoverable past, Communism is seen as ‘a doomed, flawed but noble faith’. But Samuel did not write his now reissued book until the 1980s, and then as an unhappy commentary on the disintegration of the Party he had left behind thirty years earlier. In fact, the disintegration of the movement has made possible the current flood ...

On Wall Street

Astra Taylor, 25 October 2012

... to all-comers: Education, Healthcare, Ecology, Debt, Money out of Politics, Labour, the Commons, Faith, Political Oppression etc. At 4 p.m. the direct-action training began. The crowd broke into ‘affinity groups’, small bands that would, in theory, stick together on Monday morning, come what may. I was absorbed by the Bad Parents, named for a couple from ...

Mr Trendy Sicko

James Wolcott, 23 May 2019

by Brett Easton Ellis.
Picador, 261 pp., £16.99, May 2019, 978 1 5290 1239 2
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... the springboard for Jay McInerney’s breakthrough novel, Bright Lights, Big City, and Morgan Entrekin, the editor at Simon and Schuster who acquired Bret Easton Ellis’s Less than Zero. Lish had the cult cred, but their properties shone the brightest. Gary and Morgan, ...

Poets and Pretenders

John Sutherland, 2 April 1987

The Great Pretender 
by James Atlas.
Viking, 239 pp., £10.95, February 1987, 9780670814619
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The Position of the Body 
by Richard Stern.
Northwestern, 207 pp., $21.95, November 1986, 0 8101 0730 9
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The Setting Sun and the Rolling World 
by Charles Mungoshi.
Heinemann, 202 pp., £10.95, February 1987, 0 434 48166 1
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Conversations with Lord Byron on Perversion, 162 Years after his Lordship’s Death 
by Amanda Prantera.
Cape, 174 pp., £9.95, March 1987, 9780224024235
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... years at Harvard, in which he becomes an unvalued disciple of his creative writing teacher, Morgan Ames, and his short stint at Balliol as a Rhodes scholar in which he does nothing but sink pints of bitter and have an unsatisfactory relationship with a girl called Eleanor – there is some enjoyable Anglophobia in this second half of the novel. At least ...

Hatpin through the Brain

Jonathan Meades: Closing Time for the Firm, 9 June 2022

The Palace Papers 
by Tina Brown.
Century, 571 pp., £20, April, 978 1 5291 2470 5
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... and a subscription to a prurient polarity – virgins or whores.Fair enough: the defenders of the faith need some respite from maintaining the laws of God, the true profession of the Gospel and the Protestant reformed religion established by law. God, then, returns the favour by being on hand to bless or chide when a decision is being made about the ...

Maggie’s Hobby

Nicholas Hiley, 11 December 1997

New cloak, Old dagger: How Britain’s Spies Came in from the Cold 
by Michael Smith.
Gollancz, 338 pp., £20, November 1996, 0 575 06150 2
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Intelligence Power in Peace and War 
by Michael Herman.
Cambridge, 436 pp., £50, October 1996, 0 521 56231 7
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UK Eyes Alpha 
by Mark Urban.
Faber, 320 pp., £16.99, September 1996, 0 571 17689 5
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... just as right-wing theorising about democracy itself began to change. Where there had once been a faith in the centralised state as an essential precondition for democratic government there was now a faith in market capitalism. This was increasingly regarded as a vital stage in the growth of democracy, and was thus to be ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: The films of Carol Reed, 19 October 2006

Odd Man Out 
directed by Carol Reed.
September 2006
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... need charity rather than violence; rather than hatred or anger; rather than protest; rather than faith. All these interpretations are possible but a bit heavy and more than a little confused. The shot itself as Johnny recites his quotation, the angle so low that we see a good piece of the ceiling, his face flattened as in a fresco, his left arm bandaged and ...

Poor Dear, How She Figures!

Alan Hollinghurst: Forster and His Mother, 3 January 2013

The Journals and Diaries of E.M. Forster Volumes I-III 
edited by Philip Gardner.
Pickering and Chatto, 813 pp., £275, February 2011, 978 1 84893 114 5
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... or ‘hideous’ – ‘the choir chapels … are too hideous for words.’ We can see Morgan and Lily, he 16 and she a very senior 40, friends with a huge gap of age, respect and responsibility between them, nodding happily to each other as they came out with that verdict. At Cambridge three years later the heart is still in hiding, and apparently ...

Crossman and Social Democracy

Peter Clarke, 16 April 1981

The Backbench Diaries of Richard Crossman 
edited by Janet Morgan.
Hamish Hamilton/Cape, 1136 pp., £15, March 1981, 0 241 10440 8
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... heirs have now abandoned. The first question is whether we can trust this text. The editor, Janet Morgan, with her experience of putting the later volumes of Diaries of a Cabinet Minister into shape, has adopted similar methods here. The original diaries run with some breaks from October 1951 to December 1963 – some three million words in all, reduced to ...

Ten Poets

Denis Donoghue, 7 November 1985

Selected Poems 
by Donald Davie.
Carcanet, 124 pp., £2.95, April 1985, 9780856355950
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Collected Poems: 1947-1980 
by Allen Ginsberg.
Viking, 837 pp., £16.95, April 1985, 0 670 80683 8
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Instant Chronicles: A Life 
by D.J. Enright.
Oxford, 58 pp., £4.50, April 1985, 9780019211970
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Selected Poems 
by Edwin Morgan.
Carcanet, 139 pp., £2.95, April 1985, 0 85635 596 8
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Selected Poems 
by Jeffrey Wainwright.
Carcanet, 79 pp., £2.95, April 1985, 0 85635 598 4
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Selected Poems 
by Gillian Clarke.
Carcanet, 112 pp., £2.95, April 1985, 0 85635 594 1
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The Price of Stone 
by Richard Murphy.
Faber, 92 pp., £4, May 1985, 0 571 13568 4
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Selected Poems 
by Iain Crichton Smith.
Carcanet, 121 pp., £2.95, April 1985, 0 85635 597 6
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Selected Poems 
by Sylvia Townsend Warner.
Carcanet, 95 pp., £2.95, April 1985, 0 85635 585 2
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From the Irish 
by James Simmons.
Blackstaff, 78 pp., £3.95, May 1985, 0 85640 331 8
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... we make our unfresh starts And share our instant chronicles. It’s your turn now. Edwin Morgan takes his turn with some flamboyance. His poems imagine things you wouldn’t think it necessary to imagine except to demonstrate what the mind can do, given half a chance. Imagine your flat is burgled, the burglar has cut his hand breaking the ...


Richard Wollheim, 22 June 1995

Theory and Philosophy of Art: Style, Artist and Society 
by Meyer Schapiro.
Braziller, 253 pp., £19.95, October 1994, 0 8076 1356 8
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... difficulty in answering his question,’ Schapiro told me. ‘I said the Beatus Apocalypse in the Morgan Library, and we then spent a morning looking at it.’ It was Schapiro’s view that the bands of colour that float free of the figures on some of its pages profoundly influenced Léger, and were the source of his couleur libre paintings of a few years ...
... half the babies of Vienna. ‘Notionally at least’ – that is the crux of the matter. ‘Faith’ in Greene is like the ‘story’: you take both on trust. But where does truth come in? Pinkie, the young gangster of Brighton Rock, has none of its necessary banality, and is designed to be merely Satanic, in the spirit of Conrad’s melodramatic ...

Disappearing Acts

Terry Eagleton: Aquinas, 5 December 2013

Thomas Aquinas: A Portrait 
by Denys Turner.
Yale, 300 pp., £18.99, May 2013, 978 0 300 18855 4
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... the pagan Aristotle offered the most philosophically resourceful means of expounding the Christian faith, and it is for this mighty synthesis above all that he has earned his place among the philosophical immortals. The conflict over Aristotle raged with particular ferocity at the University of Paris, where many of Aquinas’s colleagues adhered to the ...

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