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Carré on spying

John Sutherland, 3 April 1986

A Perfect Spy 
by John le Carré.
Hodder, 463 pp., £9.95, March 1986, 9780340387849
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The Novels of John le Carré 
by David Monaghan.
Blackwell, 207 pp., £12.50, September 1985, 0 631 14283 5
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Taking sides: The Fiction of John le Carré 
by Tony Barley.
Open University, 175 pp., £20, March 1986, 0 335 15251 1
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John le Carré 
by Peter Lewis.
Ungar, 228 pp., £10.95, August 1985, 0 8044 2243 5
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A Servant’s Tale 
by Paula Fox.
Virago, 321 pp., £9.95, February 1986, 0 86068 702 3
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A State of Independence 
by Caryl Phillips.
Faber, 158 pp., £8.95, February 1986, 0 571 13910 8
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... the Lebanon, suggested he had become a more publicly engaged writer in his maturity (like Graham Greene). But ingenious le Carré watchers (specialists in their own kind of espionage) soon turned up interesting privacies. An article by Norman Moss in the Sunday Telegraph, for instance, disclosed that the little drummer girl Charlie was at least in part based ...

Think Tiny

Mark Ford: Nancification, 17 July 2008

The Nancy Book 
by Joe Brainard.
Siglio, 144 pp., $39.50, April 2008, 978 0 9799562 0 1
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... a definite commodity … I’ve had oil-painting shows that were very realistic, then I’ve done jack-off collages, cut-outs one year and drawings … it’s all been different … People want to buy a Warhol or a person instead of a work. My work’s never become ‘a Brainard’. Or even a Jainard or a Bernard or a Joe. Here are the last six ‘I ...

Spiritual Rock Star

Terry Eagleton: The failings of Pope John Paul II, 3 February 2005

The Pope in Winter: The Dark Face of John Paul II’s Papacy 
by John Cornwell.
Viking, 329 pp., £20, February 2005, 0 670 91572 6
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... cropping up in a Western. ‘He has a lot in common with Ronald Reagan,’ commented Graham Greene, who had been a close friend of Paul VI but, significantly, never received an overture from John Paul: ‘They are both world leaders who were in fact just actors.’ Greene had a dream in which he opened a newspaper to ...

All of Denmark was at his feet

John Sutherland, 12 May 1994

John Steinbeck: A Biography 
by Jay Parini.
Heinemann, 605 pp., £20, March 1994, 0 434 57492 9
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... at work. With Steinbeck one can guess what the factors were. Europeans have always had what Graham Greene called a ‘fetish’ about him. It was a lucky stroke that The Grapes of Wrath – with its broad sentimentality about endurance under intolerable pressure – was published in England in the month that war was declared. Scandinavians have a particularly ...


Edward Pearce, 26 July 1990

A Sparrow’s Flight: Memoirs 
by Lord Hailsham.
Collins, 463 pp., £17.50, July 1990, 0 00 215545 1
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... her mistress. But when she smelt those suitcases with the familiar scents, little Mini, the Jack Russell bitch, nearly went mad with joy and had almost forcibly to be removed from the room.’ Hailsham the private man, son, husband, even father of the egregious Douglas, is very lovable, so much so that the Hogg of the two ...

Cursing and Breast-Beating

Ross McKibbin: Manning Clark’s Legacy, 23 February 2012

An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark 
by Mark McKenna.
Miegunyah, 793 pp., £57.95, May 2011, 978 0 522 85617 0
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... extraordinary incident in which Clark moved heaven and earth to prevent an unfavourable review by Jack McManners (a friend) of the first volume of the History of Australia from being published. In the end he couldn’t stop publication but did bully McManners into writing a letter to the same journal effectively apologising for what he had written (though ...

11 September 1973

Christopher Hitchens: Crimes against Allende, 11 July 2002

Pinochet in Piccadilly: Britain and Chile’s Hidden History 
by Andy Beckett.
Faber, 280 pp., £15.99, May 2002, 0 571 20241 1
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... again included, were convinced that no such window would be allowed to stay open for long. Graham Greene made a visit to Chile in the early Allende years and spent a good deal of time with the supporters of the MIR (Movement of the Revolutionary Left), who kept on warning that there would be a violent confrontation, engineered by the ruling class and the ...

Ancient Greek Romances

Peter Parsons, 20 August 1981

... bulks large in Sidney’s Arcadia; through Sidney he provides the sub-plot of King Lear, through Greene the plot of Winter’s Tale, Orsino alludes to him, Hamlet quotes him. In France, at least, the fashion lasted. The young Racine, at Port Royal, learned Heliodorus by heart; Mlle de Scudéry outprosed her model in Le Grand Cyrus, the pap of a whole ...

Sergeant Farthing

D.A.N. Jones, 17 October 1985

A Maggot 
by John Fowles.
Cape, 460 pp., £9.95, September 1985, 0 224 02806 5
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The Romances of John Fowles 
by Simon Loveday.
Macmillan, 164 pp., £25, August 1985, 0 333 31518 9
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... and the String, or Twangdang-dillo-dee. In which you shall jig upon the scaffold, at the end of Jack Ketch’s rope.’ This vigorous language frightens the actor into telling what he knows – which is not much, for he has himself been deceived. He knew the whore Fanny only in her guise as the respectable maidservant, Louise, but he is better informed ...


Michael Church, 9 October 1986

The Children of the Souls: A Tragedy of the First World War 
by Jeanne Mackenzie.
Chatto, 276 pp., £14.95, June 1986, 9780701128470
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Voices from the Spanish Civil War: Personal Recollections of Scottish Volunteers in Republican Spain 1936-39 
edited by Ian MacDougall, by Victor Kiernan.
Polygon, 369 pp., £9.95, July 1986, 0 948275 19 7
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The Shallow Grave: A Memoir of the Spanish Civil War 
by Walter Gregory, edited by David Morris and Anthony Peters.
Gollancz, 183 pp., £10.95, June 1986, 0 575 03790 3
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Spanish Front: Writers on the Civil War 
edited by Valentine Cunningham.
Oxford, 388 pp., £15, July 1986, 0 19 212258 4
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The Spanish Cockpit 
by Franz Borkenau.
Pluto, 303 pp., £4.95, July 1986, 0 7453 0188 6
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The Spanish Civil War 1936-39 
by Paul Preston.
Weidenfeld, 184 pp., £10.95, June 1986, 0 297 78891 4
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Images of the Spanish Civil War 
by Raymond Carr.
Allen and Unwin, 192 pp., £14.95, July 1986, 0 04 940089 4
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... ran: We are practically wiped out but we charged and took the Hun trenches yesterday. I stopped a Jack Johnson with my head, and my skull is slightly cracked. But I’m getting on splendidly. I did awfully well. Grenfell died slowly enough from the shell-splinter for his family to rush over and attend. His mother read him poems and Euripides’s ...

Radio Fun

Philip Purser, 27 June 1991

A Social History of British Broadcasting. Vol. I: 1922-29, Serving the Nation 
by Paddy Scannell and David Cardiff.
Blackwell, 441 pp., £30, April 1991, 0 631 17543 1
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The Collected Essays of Asa Briggs. Vol. III: Serious Pursuits, Communication and Education 
Harvester Wheatsheaf, 470 pp., £30, May 1991, 0 7450 0536 5Show More
The British Press and Broadcasting since 1945 
by Colin Seymour-Ure.
Blackwell, 269 pp., £29.95, May 1991, 9780631164432
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... was so small it couldn’t be measured. Same with dance music in the heyday of the dance bands: Jack Payne, Henry Hall and Ambrose were all tuneful and popular; the more rarified Fred Elizalde at the Savoy was so disliked that he had to be dropped from the rota. And for the first time, as far as I know, a history of pre-war radio pays serious attention to ...

Saint Shakespeare

Barbara Everett, 19 August 2010

... clear, too, that he learned incessantly from his fellows in the theatre such as Kyd and Lyly and Greene and Peele and Nashe, who were not incapable of objecting to his assimilative invasion. Shakespeare was, like Chaucer, a ‘great translator’, which meant he was capable of creative response, in terms of adaptation and mimicry. But he gave back ...

Her Body or the Sea

Ian Patterson: Ann Quin, 21 June 2018

The Unmapped Country: Stories and Fragments 
by Ann Quin.
And Other Stories, 192 pp., £10, January 2018, 978 1 911508 14 4
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... reminiscent of Archie Rice in Tony Richardson’s film of The Entertainer as well as early Graham Greene. The style is distinctive in the way it wanders in and out of interiority, with private thought and public speech undifferentiated by punctuation or mise-en-page. The central character, the focalising consciousness of the novel, is the eponymous young ...

The Vulgarity of Success

Murray Sayle: Everest and Empire, 7 May 1998

Eric Shipton: Everest and Beyond 
by Peter Steele.
Constable, 290 pp., £18.99, March 1998, 0 09 478300 4
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... Although this was acclaimed as a British triumph and Tenzing held up an ice-axe flying the Union Jack for the summit photograph, Hillary is in fact a New Zealander, and Tenzing, who died in 1988 loaded with British honours, was a Nepalese. Most of the expedition’s other climbers were British, as was its finance, and its leader, Colonel John Hunt (now Baron ...

In the Workshop

Tom Paulin: Shakespeare’s Sonnets, 22 January 1998

The Art of Shakespeare's Sonnets 
by Helen Vendler.
Harvard, 672 pp., £23.50, December 1997, 0 674 63712 7
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Shakespeare's Sonnets 
edited by Katherine Duncan-Jones.
Arden, 503 pp., £7.99, September 1997, 1 903436 57 5
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... haue I feene, Flatter the mountaine tops with foueraine eie, Kiffing with golden facc the meddowes greene; Guilding pale ftreames with heauenly alcumy: Anon permit the bafeft cloudes to ride, With ougly rack on his celeftiall face, And from the for-’orne world his vifage hide Stealing vn eene to weft with this difgrace: Euen fo my Sunne one early morne did ...

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