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Follies

George Melly, 4 April 1991

A Surrealist Life 
by John Lowe.
Collins, 262 pp., £18, February 1991, 0 00 217941 5
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... marriage, which even the sceptical Lowe describes as ‘made in hell’. Tilly, a fascinating Lulu-like gold digger, believed she was marrying a homosexual, with a view to divorcing him later in exchange for a substantial settlement. She was wrong in that: not only was he in love with her, but when he eventually turned, he not only divorced her but ...

Diary

Susannah Clapp: On Angela Carter, 12 March 1992

... She was not neglected or rejected (except by the National Theatre, who turned down her version of Lulu a few years ago). She was given solus reviews and publishers’ parties; she went on telly; she was courted by universities and nobbled by fans. But she was never treated as the object of automatic acclaim and deference that the welter of huge obituaries ...

At the Whitechapel

Jeremy Harding: William Kentridge, Thick Time, 3 November 2016

... the workshop of ideas, materials and players that Kentridge put together for his production of Lulu, performed at the Met last year and coming to ENO on 9 November. Right into Her Arms restages the conception, design and history of the production as a kinetic notebook, full of surprise and comedy. As the panels go this way and that, the projected images ...

Most Sincerely, Folks

Michael Wood: Andrew O’Hagan, 5 June 2003

Personality 
by Andrew O’Hagan.
Faber, 328 pp., £16.99, May 2003, 0 571 19501 6
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... to say, and in one dizzying paragraph (admittedly her agent is speaking here) she is compared to Lulu, Petula Clark, Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand. She appears on Opportunity Knocks (Hughie Green himself gets a soliloquy or two in this book), wins the competition time after time, makes it to the Palladium and Las Vegas, appears with Dean Martin and Les ...

Quite Nice

Diana Souhami: Fernande Olivier, 13 December 2001

Loving Picasso: The Private Journal of Fernande Olivier 
edited by Marilyn McCully, translated by Christine Baker.
Abrams, 296 pp., £24, May 2001, 0 8109 4251 8
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... Fernande Olivier, like Frank Wedekind’s Lulu, sexualised all her relationships with men and served their desires while lamenting that her own were unfulfilled. She lived through her lovers in order perhaps to gain a passing sense of who she was. As each of her affairs in turn went wrong, she moved to a different man ...

V.

Tony Harrison, 24 January 1985

... home to you, and perished vegetation from the pit escaping insubstantial up the flue. Listening to Lulu, in our hearth we burn, as we hear the high Cs rise in stereo, what was lush swamp club-moss and tree-fern at least 300 million years ago. Shilbottle cobbles, Alban Berg high D lifted from a source that bears your name, the one we hear decay, the one we ...

Venus in Blue Jeans

Charles Nicholl: The Mona Lisa, 4 April 2002

Mona Lisa: The History of the World’s Most Famous Painting 
by Donald Sassoon.
HarperCollins, 350 pp., £16.99, September 2001, 0 00 710614 9
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... was co-opted into this chorus line of dangerous beauties, alongside Zola’s Nana, Wedekind’s Lulu, and Baudelaire’s Creole belle, Jeanne Duval. The famous paragraph by Walter Pater, first published in the November 1869 issue of the Fortnightly Review, was certainly influenced by this extended bout of Gallic swooning. In his introduction to The Oxford ...

Mozart’s Rascal

Roger Parker, 23 May 1991

Mozart in Vienna 1781-1791 
by Volkmar Braunbehrens.
Deutsch, 481 pp., £17.95, June 1990, 9780233985596
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The Mozart Compendium 
edited by H.C. Robbins Landon.
Thames and Hudson, 452 pp., £24.95, September 1990, 0 500 01481 7
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Mozart and Vienna 
by H.C. Robbins Landon.
Thames and Hudson, 208 pp., £16.95, February 1991, 0 500 01506 6
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Mozart’s Thematic Catalogue: A Facsimile 
introduced and transcribed by Albi Rosenthal and Alan Tyson.
British Library, 57 pp., £25, November 1990, 0 7123 0202 6
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The Compleat Mozart: A Guide to the Musical Works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 
edited by Neal Zaslaw and William Cowdery.
Norton, 351 pp., £19.95, April 1991, 0 393 02886 0
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... of emotion, with a subtlety never before known on the operatic stage ... Not until Alban Berg’s Lulu did opera again achieve such a versatile treatment of dialogue and such an exact musical reflection of the text. ’ Quite sensibly in the circumstances, Braunbehrens restricts his discussion of the poetry and music to these general terms when arguing an ...

Herberts & Herbertinas

Rosemary Hill: Steven Runciman, 20 October 2016

Outlandish Knight: The Byzantine Life of Steven Runciman 
by Minoo Dinshaw.
Penguin, 767 pp., £30, September 2016, 978 0 241 00493 7
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... was ‘a weak, vicious and cruel boy of 16, completely in the hands of his favourite eunuch, Lulu’. In 1968 with The Great Church in Captivity, a study of the Orthodox Church under Ottoman rule, Cameron suggests he ‘came into his own as a historian of religion’. It was a pioneering work and Runciman, though not himself a believer, was always ...

Che pasticcio!

Tim Parks: Carlo Emilio Gadda, 20 September 2007

That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana 
by Carlo Emilio Gadda, translated by William Weaver.
NYRB, 388 pp., £8.99, February 2007, 978 1 59017 222 3
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... a curious detail: when Ingravallo arrived at the victim’s house for lunch, he was greeted by ‘Lulu, the little Pekinese bitch, a ball of fluff’, who first barked quite angrily then sniffed and licked at his shoes. ‘The vitality of those little monsters is incredible,’ Gadda says (something that is true of the whole world as he describes it). And he ...

Swanker

Ronald Bryden, 10 December 1987

The Life of Kenneth Tynan 
by Kathleen Tynan.
Weidenfeld, 407 pp., £16.95, September 1987, 9780297790822
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... Donald Wolfit’s Iachimo of ‘a vast, gloating reptile’, while to evoke Louise Brooks’s Lulu in Pabst’s silent film he summoned comparisons with a swan, a gazelle and a tropical fish. He could use animal imagery to be scathing, as well. Alan Badel’s Romeo brought to his mind a restless marmoset, Dorothy Tutin’s Ophelia ‘a mouse on the ...

Keller’s Causes

Robin Holloway, 3 August 1995

Essays on Music 
by Hans Keller, edited by Christopher Wintle, Bayan Northcott and Irene Samuel.
Cambridge, 269 pp., £30, October 1994, 0 521 46216 9
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... works) Mahler’s Tenth, Schoenberg’s Jakobsleiter, Ives’s Universe, Act Three of Berg’s Lulu, or, in a more fantastical and freewheeling way, exemplified in Busoni’s Fantasia Contrappuntistica (on Bach’s unfinished Art of Fugue) or Berio’s play with the fragmentary material of Schubert’s Tenth Symphony. But F.A., which might work well as ...

Skating Charm

James Wolcott: Kenneth Tynan, 13 December 2001

The Diaries of Kenneth Tynan 
edited by John Lahr.
Bloomsbury, 439 pp., £25, October 2001, 0 7475 5418 8
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... mentioned above; a play inspired by his Louise Brooks profile, Janet Munsil’s Smoking with Lulu; and now the diaries, which Tynan bequeathed on his deathbed to his daughter Tracy. They have been edited by John Lahr, the perfect choice for the task – indeed, an inescapable one. Lahr is Tynan’s true successor at the New Yorker, reviewing theatre for ...

More a Voyeur

Colm Tóibín: Elton Took Me Hostage, 19 December 2019

Me 
by Elton John.
Macmillan, 376 pp., £25, October 2019, 978 1 5098 5331 1
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... British entry for the Eurovision Song Contest in 1969, it came last. (All six songs were sung by Lulu, and the winner was called ‘Boom Bang- a-Bang’.) To make money, Elton began to work as a session musician, singing backing vocals for Tom Jones and playing piano with the Hollies. He also worked for a label called Marble Arch which knocked out versions ...

Diary

John Lanchester: A Month on the Sofa, 11 July 2002

... goal from the halfway line in the 1995 Cup Winners’ Cup Final. And now he lets in an absolute lulu. Oh dear – I don’t much like Seaman, but he doesn’t deserve this. (But what does that mean? He let it in, after all. I suppose what I mean is, he doesn’t deserve to take all the blame for England’s exit. The other day I heard someone reply to one ...

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