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Sitting it out

Paul Sieghart, 2 August 1984

Two men were aquitted 
by Percy Hoskins.
Secker, 221 pp., £9.95, May 1984, 0 436 20161 5
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... was the tradition that the Attorney-General himself should lead for the prosecution. In the other corner, Adams was represented by Geoffrey Lawrence QC, one of the most skilful advocates of his day, whose normal practice lay in the civil rather than the criminal courts. Not for him the faded Rumpole clichés of ‘I am bound to put it to you, Mr Snooks, that ...

Sweaney Peregraine

Paul Muldoon, 1 November 1984

Station Island 
by Seamus Heaney.
Faber, 123 pp., £5.95, October 1984, 0 571 13301 0
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Sweeney Astray: A Version 
by Seamus Heaney.
Faber, 85 pp., £6.95, October 1984, 0 571 13360 6
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Rich 
by Craig Raine.
Faber, 109 pp., £5.95, September 1984, 0 571 13215 4
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... cow-dung and fill the hole to the brim with new milk. Then Sweeney would sneak into the deserted corner of the milking yard and lap it up ... [The herd] got up in a sudden fury, seized a spear from a rack in the house, and made for the madman. Sweeney was down swilling the milk out of the cow-dung with his side exposed towards the herd, who let go at him ...

Diary

David Gascoyne: Notebook, New Year 1991, 25 January 1996

... local café-tabac l’ Aquarium, for tea and tartines. Dinner at eight chez Jean-Claude, round the corner in rue de Picpus, an immeuble with a sinister labyrinthine underground car-park. Sunday 30: Nearest Metro to hotel is Nation: unfamiliar, vast and intimidatingly full of platforms for recently proliferated extension lines serving the banlieues. Investing ...

All their dreaming’s done

James Francken: Janet Davey, 8 May 2003

English Correspondence 
by Janet Davey.
Chatto, 199 pp., £12.99, January 2003, 0 7011 7364 5
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... a week away from his wife – his marriage has begun to harden – Jerry notices the sign for Paul and Sylvie’s hotel. He expects the stop-off will be a let-down – ‘these places could be dire, unless you had a taste for noting minute degrees of deadness’ – but he pulls over, done in by the mountain roads, running on fumes and far too tired to ...

At the Royal Academy

Peter Campbell: Vuillard, 19 February 2004

... challenge the curators of the exhibition offer to this judgment is bold and unconvincing. In 1888 Paul Sérusier brought back to Paris a landscape he had done in Brittany under the guidance of Paul Gauguin. A painter, Gauguin had told him, should translate what he saw into unmixed colours: if a tree looks green, make it the ...

Tracts for the Times

Karl Miller, 17 August 1989

Intellectuals 
by Paul Johnson.
Weidenfeld, 385 pp., £14.95, October 1988, 0 297 79395 0
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CounterBlasts No 1: God, Man and Mrs Thatcher 
by Jonathan Raban.
Chatto, 72 pp., £2.99, June 1989, 0 7011 3470 4
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... some intellectuals have been thought to have difficulty in changing their socks. Bertrand Russell, Paul Johnson reports, was unable to make himself a cup of tea. The term came to currency with the classifications employed in the Marxist system, and has been used to deplore the scarcity in this country of a certain someone supposedly thick on the European ...

A Generous Quantity of Fat

Paul Henley: Yes, People Were Cooked, 2 September 1999

Man Corn: Cannibalism and Violence in the Prehistoric American South-West 
by Christy Turner and Jacqueline Turner.
Utah, 512 pp., $60, January 1999, 9780874805666
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Cannibalism and the Colonial World 
edited by Francis Barker and Peter Hulme.
Cambridge, 309 pp., £13.95, August 1998, 0 521 62118 6
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Cannibals: The Discovery and Representation of the Cannibal from Columbus to Jules Verne 
by Frank Lestringant, translated by Rosemary Morris.
Polity, 256 pp., £39.50, April 1997, 0 7456 1697 6
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Chronicles of the Guayakí Indians 
by Pierre Clastres, translated by Paul Auster.
Faber, 256 pp., £9.99, June 1998, 0 571 19398 6
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... with dripping limbs hanging from the rafters and the inevitable cauldron bubbling away in the corner. In a similar vein, Gananath Obeyesekere argues that certain 19th-century texts which have been considered prime evidence for Fijian cannibalism should be read not as unimpeachable eye-witness testimony but rather as adventure stories or seamen’s yarns ...

At Dulwich Picture Gallery

Peter Campbell: Adam Elsheimer, 2 November 2006

... of bright stars spreads to the Milky Way, which strikes across the sky from the top left corner. The wedge of trees which rises from right to the left is pitch black, but two other sources of light push back the darkness. In the centre foreground a mother and child on an ass are lit by the torch carried by a bearded man who holds his hand out towards ...

Going Native

A.N. Wilson: Theroux’s Portrait of Naipaul, 13 May 1999

Sir Vidia’s Shadow: A Friendship across Five Continents 
by Paul Theroux.
Hamish Hamilton, 376 pp., £17.99, December 1998, 0 241 14046 3
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... at a sitting. This was certainly not because of any previous obsession with either V.S. Naipaul or Paul Theroux. True, I regard Naipaul as one of the most enthralling writers of our time, even though the subjects he has covered – India, Africa, the putrefaction of the post-colonial world – are not ones which engage my interest or my imagination. It is him ...

Bustin’ up the Chiffarobe

Alex Abramovich: Paul Beatty, 7 January 2016

The Sellout 
by Paul Beatty.
Farrar, Straus, 288 pp., £17, March 2015, 978 0 374 26050 7
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... America’s crazy, and so sometimes its pure products go sane. Consider the eponymous narrator of Paul Beatty’s novel The Sellout. When we first meet him, in the Supreme Court’s ‘cavernous chambers’, the sellout’s hands are cuffed behind his back. His right to silence ‘long since waived’, he sits in a ‘thickly padded chair that, much like this ...

At Auckland Castle

Nicola Jennings: Francisco de Zurbarán, 4 June 2020

... animal skins, striped dungarees, turbans and brocades. Each son is identified at the bottom corner of a painting by a wooden block bearing his name, and by the inclusion of objects connected with his story. Joseph, who carries the rod and papers of an Egyptian vizier, is particularly striking in a gold-fringed coat of many colours and a splendid pink ...

Mitteleuropa am Aldwych

Ian Hacking: The Lakatos-Feyerabend Correspondence, 20 January 2000

For and against Method: including Lakatos’s Lectures on Scientific Method and the Lakatos-Feyerabend Correspondence 
by Imre Lakatos and Paul Feyerabend, edited by Matteo Motterlini.
Chicago, 451 pp., £24, October 1999, 0 226 46774 0
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... the Austrians, including Karl Popper and Otto Neurath (not to mention Wittgenstein), and later got Paul Feyerabend from Vienna and Imre Lakatos from Budapest. The United States got the Germans, including Rudolf Carnap and Hans Reichenbach. The famous Vienna Circle, or Wiener Kreis, was established by Moritz Schlick, a German, who brought other Germans to ...

Poped

Hugo Young, 24 November 1994

The Sign of the Cross: Travels in Catholic Europe 
by Colm Tóibín.
Cape, 296 pp., £16.99, October 1994, 0 224 03767 6
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... competition, and the Catholic community no longer existed. The continuity of the faith in this corner of Europe had been just about destroyed. Although the Bishop maintained a despairing loyalty as he surveyed the wreckage, he was, says Tóibín, ‘the first Catholic clergyman I had met who had no power’. In these circumstances, it is not surprising ...

77 Barton Street

Dave Haslam: Joy Division, 3 January 2008

Juvenes: The Joy Division Photographs of Kevin Cummins 
To Hell with Publishing, 189 pp., £200, December 2007Show More
Joy Division: Piece by Piece 
by Paul Morley.
Plexus, 384 pp., £14.99, December 2007, 978 0 85965 404 3
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Control 
directed by Anton Corbijn.
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... room in Whalley Range’, about iron bridges and ‘a river the colour of lead’. In May 1983, Paul Slattery – who had photographed Joy Division in 1979, too, beside an industrial estate in Stockport – took some shots for Sounds of The Smiths standing in the ruins of Central Station, once the pride of the Midland Railway Company but by then a rackety ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: A Quick Bout of Bardiness, 6 June 2002

... highbrow London Review of Books has made concessions to the demand for brevity – in this corner at least. Thank heavens for New Left Review. Ever quick off the mark, Machiavelli was long ago alert to the pitfalls of prolixity. The target audience for The Prince were all busy men. Were Machiavelli around now, his book would probably be called ‘The ...

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