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At the Centre Pompidou

Jeremy Harding: Beat Generation, 8 September 2016

... a few years later. Peter Orlovsky and Allen Ginsberg at the Hotel de Londres, Paris in 1957. Bob Thompson, ‘LeRoi Jones and his Family’ (1964) Brion Gysin, ‘Calligraphy’ (1960) Brion Gysin, William S. Burroughs, Untitled (Primrose Path, the Third Mind, p.12, 1965) Ettore Sottsass, ‘Neal Cassady, Los Gatos, California’ (1962) Bernard ...

Magnifico

David Bromwich: This was Orson Welles, 3 June 2004

Orson Welles: The Stories of His Life 
by Peter Conrad.
Faber, 384 pp., £20, September 2003, 0 571 20978 5
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... who used him as they liked but enjoyed his ambience (Jack Warner, Samuel Goldwyn, Darryl Zanuck, Harry Cohn); warmer if not closer friendships with Cocteau and Renoir, Hemingway and Sinatra; and the frequent company of younger men in theatre and the movies who emulated him (Kenneth Tynan, Peter Bogdanovich). All this is known to Conrad, but the subject of ...

In the field

Nigel Hamilton, 5 November 1981

Washington Despatches, 1941-45: Weekly Political Reports from the British Embassy 
edited by H.G. Nicholas.
Weidenfeld, 700 pp., £20, August 1981, 0 297 77920 6
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British Intelligence and the Second World War. Vol. II 
by F.H. Hinsley, E.E. Thomas, C.F.G. Ransom and R.C. Knight.
HMSO, 850 pp., £15.95, September 1981, 0 11 630934 2
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Mars without Venus: A Study of Some Homosexual Generals 
by Frank Richardson.
William Blackwood, 188 pp., £5.95, September 1981, 9780851581484
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Soldiering on: An Unofficial Portrait of the British Army 
by Dennis Barker.
Deutsch, 236 pp., £8.50, October 1981, 0 233 97391 5
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A Breed of Heroes 
by Alan Judd.
Hodder, 288 pp., £6.95, September 1981, 0 340 26334 2
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War in Peace: An Analysis of Warfare Since 1945 
edited by Robert Thompson.
Orbis, 312 pp., £9.95, September 1981, 0 85613 341 8
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... 1940-41 offensive, and Montgomery did not participate in ‘First’ Alamein in July 1942). Harry Hinsley’s British Intelligence and the Second World War: Its Influence on Strategy and Operations, Volume II, is another impersonal work. He has the strange notion that in order to simulate ‘perfect’ reality he must exclude any mention of ...

No more pretty face

Philip Horne, 8 March 1990

Emotion Pictures: Reflections on the Cinema 
by Wim Wenders, translated by Sean Whiteside and Michael Hofmann.
Faber, 148 pp., £12.99, November 1989, 0 571 15271 6
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Scorsese on Scorsese 
by Martin Scorsese, edited by David Thompson and Ian Christie.
Faber, 178 pp., £12.99, November 1989, 9780571141036
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... as cinematographer, the American Ry Cooder as composer/performer of the music; the American actors Harry Dean Stanton and Dean Stockwell as the central Henderson brothers, the French Aurore Clément and the German Nastassia Kinski as their wives. For Wenders, a long-time lover of the Western and of American rock music, it was, as he has since told the French ...

Making It Up

Raphael Samuel, 4 July 1996

Raymond Williams 
by Fred Inglis.
Routledge, 333 pp., £19.99, October 1995, 0 415 08960 3
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... and snow’. The mourners make their way along the ‘tatters’ of the old, winding road, passing Harry and Gwen Williams’s cottage, where Raymond grew up. Assembled in the churchyard, ‘Raymond’s young men’ (as his wife, Joy, used to call them) are now middle-aged and showing signs of wear and tear, ‘thinning and unkempt hair ... a bad back here, a ...

Diary

Christian Lorentzen: Are books like nappies?, 2 August 2012

... more a dark fairytale world where editors put their faith in technology intermingled with magic. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows accounted for around 2 per cent of UK book sales in 2007, out of 120,000 published. This autumn it could be Rowling’s novel for adults, about a town ripped apart by the death of a parish councillor. Or maybe her magic only ...

Shaved, Rouged and Chignoned

Terry Eagleton: Fanny and Stella, 7 March 2013

Fanny and Stella: The Young Men Who Shocked Victorian England 
by Neil McKenna.
Faber, 396 pp., £16.99, February 2013, 978 0 571 23190 4
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... spent long hours picking oakum, walking the treadmill or operating a crank. Park’s brother Harry, a male prostitute like himself, was sentenced to a year’s penal servitude in the House of Correction in Coldbath Fields, which with its appalling food, lack of sanitation and back-breaking toil was generally considered close enough to a death ...

Move Your Head and the Picture Changes

Jenny Turner: Helen DeWitt, 11 September 2008

Your Name Here 
by Helen DeWitt and Ilya Gridneff.
helendewitt.com, 580 pp., £8, May 2008
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... has bought a different three-for-two airport paperback – one has Pity the Nation, another has Harry Potter, another has Dan Brown. But the texts keep morphing into Arabic in front of the readers’ eyes: انجيلينا   Angelina بانانا   Banana تيتيكاكا   Titicaca ‘All the travellers’ books, to their great ...

The Grey Boneyard of Fifties England

Iain Sinclair, 22 August 1996

A Perfect Execution 
by Tim Binding.
Picador, 344 pp., £15.99, May 1996, 0 330 34564 8
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... for easy targets in the Green Belt. Binding, dipping through the casebooks, makes use of the Thompson/Bywaters affair (having to insist that his character is called ‘Ethel’ not ‘Edith’), nods at the police killer Harry Roberts in his Epping Forest hide, as well as contriving a transatlantic shipboard conclusion ...

The Great Percy

C.H. Sisson, 18 November 1982

Stranger and Brother: A Portrait of C.P. Snow 
by Philip Snow.
Macmillan, 206 pp., £8.95, October 1982, 0 333 32680 6
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... Charles was at Cambridge for the sake of science, and lived in the ambience of Rutherford, J.J. Thompson, Cockcroft, Blackett, Dirac and others. He produced papers on this and that, as an up-and-coming young man should. Then he and a colleague in the Department of Physical Chemistry ‘believed that they had discovered how to produce Vitamin A by artificial ...

Isle of Dogs

Iain Sinclair, 10 May 1990

Pit Bull 
by Scott Ely.
Penguin, 218 pp., £4.99, March 1990, 0 14 012033 5
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... I was left, at the finish, with a feeling of nostalgia for the psychopathic ‘humour’ of a Jim Thompson or the more exuberant culture spread of Charles Willeford’s Cockfighter. Fate should hurt, it should embrace more than a spoiled romance. The affair at the heart of this novel must be with ‘Alligator’, the stinking pit bull, the sunken mud ...

Like What Our Peasants Still Are

Landeg White: Afrocentrism, 13 May 1999

Afrocentrism: Mythical Pasts and Imagined Homes 
by Stephen Howe.
Verso, 337 pp., £22, June 1998, 1 85984 873 7
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... noses) and subsequently degenerated as a result of their interbreeding with primitive peoples. Sir Harry Johnston, explorer and linguist, was the first commisioner for South Central Africa and the first to popularise what has become known, for short, as the Hamitic hypothesis, but it features, too, in the writings of 19th-century French and German ...

Dawn of the Dark Ages

Ronald Stevens: Fleet Street magnates, 4 December 2003

Newspapermen: Hugh Cudlipp, Cecil Harmsworth King and the Glory Days of Fleet Street 
by Ruth Dudley Edwards.
Secker, 484 pp., £20, May 2003, 0 436 19992 0
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... made no attempt to save Cudlipp’s skin. A couple of years later the man who had toppled Cudlipp, Harry Guy Bartholomew, was toppled himself, and it was King who pushed him. He took over Bartholomew’s chairmanship of the Sunday Pictorial and Daily Mirror and presided over them until, in 1968, it was his turn to walk the plank. This time Cudlipp was the ...

No more alimony, tra la la

Miranda Carter: Somerset Maugham, 17 December 2009

The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham 
by Selina Hastings.
John Murray, 614 pp., £25, September 2009, 978 0 7195 6554 0
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... un-) disguised portraits of people he’d met and stories he’d been told. (Sadie Thompson, an American call-girl, appeared – name, fat legs and all – in the short story ‘Rain’.) It was a habit which left a ‘trail of angry people’. Maugham was born in 1874 in Paris, the youngest of four boys, to an English solicitor who looked ...

Give me a Danish pastry!

Christopher Tayler: Nordic crime fiction, 17 August 2006

The Priest of Evil 
by Matti-Yrjänä Joensuu, translated by David Hackston.
Arcadia, 352 pp., £11.99, May 2006, 1 900850 93 1
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Roseanna 
by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, translated by Lois Roth.
Harper Perennial, 288 pp., £6.99, August 2006, 0 00 723283 7
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Borkmann’s Point 
by Håkan Nesser, translated by Laurie Thompson.
Macmillan, 321 pp., £16.99, May 2006, 0 333 98984 8
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The Redbreast 
by Jo Nesbø, translated by Don Bartlett.
Harvill Secker, 520 pp., £11.99, September 2006, 9781843432173
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Voices 
by Arnaldur Indridason, translated by Bernard Scudder.
Harvill Secker, 313 pp., £12.99, August 2006, 1 84655 033 5
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... only because it adheres too rigidly to other Scandinavian thriller conventions. Nesbø’s hero, Harry Hole, is an off-the-peg maverick detective whose alcoholism and solitariness are extreme even by this genre’s standards. Hole is too alienated to have children or an ex-wife, though he does have a sister with Down’s syndrome. His work also forces him to ...

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