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Ghosting

Hal Foster: Dead to the World, 29 July 2021

Absentees: On Variously Missing Persons 
by Daniel Heller-Roazen.
Zone, 320 pp., £28, April, 978 1 942130 47 5
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... alludes to the ‘natal alienation’ of slavery, defined by the sociologist Orlando Patterson as a state in which all ‘blood’ ties and civil rights are annulled, arguing that in antiquity multitudes were born into that condition. Here Heller-Roazen differs significantly from Giorgio Agamben, whose influential book Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power ...

Issues for His Prose Style

Andrew O’Hagan: Hemingway, 7 June 2012

The Letters of Ernest Hemingway: Vol. I, 1907-22 
edited by Sandra Spanier and Robert Trogdon.
Cambridge, 431 pp., £30, October 2011, 978 0 521 89733 4
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... there are forty occasions when someone has a drink. It begins in Gorizia, where our hero, Frederic Henry (he’d better have his name; we’re going to be with him for a while), sits watching the snow falling while he drinks a bottle of Asti with a friend. Later, over too much wine and Strega, he explains to a priest his regret at not having gone to ...

You can’t prove I meant X

Clare Bucknell, 16 April 2020

Poetics of the Pillory: English Literature and Seditious Libel, 1660-1820 
by Thomas Keymer.
Oxford, 352 pp., £25, October 2019, 978 0 19 874449 8
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... which, perhaps counterintuitively, we have the early modern political state to thank. As Annabel Patterson put it in 1984, in Censorship and Interpretation, ‘“literature” in the early modern period was conceived in part as the way around censorship.’ The group of texts we think of as canonical took on their complex shapes under the ‘enabling ...

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