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Whinny Moor

Blake Morrison, 2 April 1987

... and original sources, to land on the fell road under Pinhaw beside the steamed-up hatchback of a Ford. The driver’s window opened as I stood there. ‘Tha’ll catch thi death – get in an warm thisen’ said the heathery face, open, bloodshot, leaning across to unlock the other door. I limped around and took my seat beside him, cupping my bones about ...

Psychodisney

Peter Robins: Gary Indiana, 25 July 2002

Depraved Indifference 
by Gary Indiana.
HarperCollins, 336 pp., $24.95, January 2002, 0 06 019726 9
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... charges and then carrying on as if nothing has happened, or to have their scams involve Gerald Ford and Pat Nixon, or to have the man who sells them illegal guns explain how to make a silencer from a potato, you must consider that all these things come straight from the Kimes family archive. And so may anything else. Somewhere in Las Vegas, there may ...

A Hammer in His Hands

Frank Kermode: Lowell’s Letters, 22 September 2005

The Letters of Robert Lowell 
edited by Saskia Hamilton.
Faber, 852 pp., £30, July 2005, 0 571 20204 7
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... Jews, of course, but also on Milton. Later he consulted other great men of an earlier generation: Ford Madox Ford, T.S. Eliot, of whom Lowell was extremely fond, Robert Frost and William Carlos Williams, much admired despite Lowell’s worries about the impossibility, for him, of Williams’s kind of free verse, and his ...

I am Prince Mishkin

Mark Ford, 23 April 1987

‘Howl’: Original Draft Facsimile 
by Allen Ginsberg, edited by Barry Miles.
Viking, 194 pp., £16.95, February 1987, 0 670 81599 3
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White Shroud: Poems 1980-1985 
by Allen Ginsberg.
Viking, 89 pp., £10.95, February 1987, 0 670 81598 5
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... where he found a new type of analyst who advised him to do exactly what he wanted. He met Peter Orlovsky and they exchanged lovers’ eternal vows. He gave up his girlfriend and his job, started taking heavier doses of Peyote and began to trust the messianic stirrings in his soul. ‘The only poetic tradition is the voice out of the burning bush. The ...

Missing the Vital Spark

Mark Ford: Tony Harrison, 13 May 1999

Prometheus 
by Tony Harrison.
Faber, 86 pp., £8.99, November 1998, 0 571 19753 1
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... an old-style socialist, and Hermes – described by Harrison in an interview as ‘the Peter Mandelson of Zeus’ – engage in an agonistic conflict. From the cinema screen Hermes taunts the unregenerate ex-miner with the failure of all his hopes: History spat you out like phlegm, shop-steward of the NUM expecting, of all things, to create in ...

Fancy Dress

Peter Campbell: Millais, Burne-Jones and Leighton, 15 April 1999

Millais: Portraits 
by Peter Funnell and Malcolm Warner.
National Portrait Gallery, 224 pp., £35, February 1999, 1 85514 255 4
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John Everett Millais 
by G.H. Fleming.
Constable, 318 pp., £20, August 1998, 0 09 478560 0
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Edward Burne-Jones: Victorian Artist-Dreamer 
by Stephen Wildman and John Christian.
Abrams, 360 pp., £48, October 1998, 0 8109 6522 4
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Frederic Leighton: Antiquity, Renaissance, Modernity 
edited by Tim Barringer and Elizabeth Prettejohn.
Yale, 332 pp., £40, March 1999, 0 300 07937 0
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... The trouble is, Millais’s judgment, in whatever spirit it was made, has been that of posterity. Peter Funnell’s essay in the catalogue of the exhibition now at the National Portrait Gallery quotes Arthur Symons, writing in 1896, a few months after Millais’s death: ‘a finer promise than any artist of his time’ was wasted. His later pictures were done ...

Sea Creatures

Peter Campbell, 23 July 1987

Sidney Nolan: Such is life 
by Brian Adams.
Hutchinson, 275 pp., £16.95, June 1987, 0 09 168430 7
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Andrew Wyeth: The Helga Pictures 
by John Wilmerding.
Viking, 208 pp., £25, September 1987, 9780670817665
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Faces 1966-1984 
by David Hockney and Marco Livingstone.
Thames and Hudson, 96 pp., £8.95, June 1987, 0 500 27464 9
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... is limited to people, buildings and landscapes to be found close to the family house in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. The compositions are sparse, and often uneasily balanced. His paintings and Robert Frost’s poetry describe similar landscapes and characters. Frost has been better respected by critics, but Wyeth has advocates among the directors of famous ...

Italianizzati

Hugh Honour, 13 November 1997

A Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy 1701-1800 
compiled by John Ingamells.
Yale, 1070 pp., £50, May 1997, 0 300 07165 5
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... Rome, from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. The Dictionary is the brain-child of Sir Brinsley Ford, a collector of 17th and 18th-century art, a patron of living British painters, and in many ways a reincarnation of the ideal virtuoso and Grand Tourist. He was first drawn to the subject by the Roman landscapes of Richard Wilson; published a book on ...

At One Times Square

Jason Pugatch: ‘Target America: Traffickers, Terrorists and You’, 16 December 2004

... I was surprised, then, that the first thing I saw was the front end of a wrecked green 1994 Ford Thunderbird, its windshield a web of cracked glass. The caption says that the man who drove this car is serving ten years for running over an Ohio woman and her three children. He was on a mixture of benzodiazepines, cocaine, marijuana and opiates at the ...

Drowned in Eau de Vie

Modris Eksteins: New, Fast and Modern, 21 February 2008

Modernism: The Lure of Heresy from Baudelaire to Beckett and Beyond 
by Peter Gay.
Heinemann, 610 pp., £20, November 2007, 978 0 434 01044 8
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... War. In his new book, Modernism: The Lure of Heresy, the inordinately prolific and widely admired Peter Gay has much to say about the creativity of the moderns but surprisingly little about their negativity. He conceives of Modernism in older terms as principally an intellectual and artistic grouping bent on liberation rather than as a broader frame of mind ...

Kooked

Mark Ford, 10 March 1994

Selected Poems 
by Charles Olson, edited by Robert Creeley.
California, 225 pp., $25, December 1993, 0 520 07528 5
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Selected Poems 
by Robert Duncan, edited by Robert Bertholf.
Carcanet, 147 pp., £9.95, October 1993, 1 85754 038 7
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... all-powerful poet envisioned by Emerson, who ‘re-attaches things to Nature and the whole’, to Peter Stillman, in Paul Auster’s City of Glass, crazedly attempting to re-create prelapsarian speech. Olson, it is often pointed out, is the first poet to have described himself as ‘Post-Modern’. That was in 1952. Five years before that he published his ...

The analyst is always right

Mark Ford: Tessimond and Spencer, 17 November 2011

Collected Poems with Translations from Jacques Prévert 
by A.S.J. Tessimond.
Bloodaxe, 188 pp., £10.95, November 2010, 978 1 85224 857 4
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Complete Poetry, Translations and Selected Prose 
by Bernard Spencer.
Bloodaxe, 351 pp., £15, February 2011, 978 1 85224 891 8
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... magazine Oxford Poetry in 1930. In his excellent introduction to this definitive Complete Poetry, Peter Robinson characterises Spencer as an unconfident poet who, when his luck was in, wrote poems that were ‘profoundly uncertain’: ‘within his small oeuvre, poem after poem sounds true. That sound sense of reliable poetry was achieved under the shadow of ...

Inky Pilgrimage

Mark Ford, 24 May 2007

The Contemplated Spouse: The Letters of Wallace Stevens to Elsie 
edited by Donald Blount.
South Carolina, 430 pp., £30.95, January 2006, 1 57003 248 3
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... and whimsicalities into the author of ‘Sunday Morning’, ‘The Emperor of Ice-Cream’ and ‘Peter Quince at the Clavier’. Stevens met Elsie Viola Moll (née Kachel) in June 1904, during a visit to his hometown of Reading, Pennsylvania. He had been living in New York since 1900, and had discovered the hard way that ‘the world holds an unoccupied ...

Excellence

Patrick Wright, 21 May 1987

Creating excellence: Managing corporate culture, strategy and change in the New Age 
by Craig Hickman and Michael Silva.
Allen and Unwin, 305 pp., £12.50, April 1985, 0 04 658252 5
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Intrapreneuring: Why you don’t have to leave the corporation to become an entrepreneur 
by Gifford Pinchot.
Harper and Row, 368 pp., £15.95, August 1985, 0 06 015305 9
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The IBM Way: Insights into the World’s Most Successful Marketing Organisation 
by Buck Rodgers.
Harper and Row, 224 pp., £12.95, April 1986, 0 06 015522 1
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Innovation: The Attacker’s Advantage 
by Richard Foster.
Macmillan, 316 pp., £14.95, September 1986, 0 333 43511 7
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Ford 
by Robert Lacey.
Heinemann, 778 pp., £15, July 1986, 0 434 40192 7
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Company of Adventurers: The Story of the Hudson’s Bay Company 
by Peter Newman.
Viking, 413 pp., £14.95, March 1986, 0 670 80379 0
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Augustine’s Laws 
by Norman Augustine.
Viking, 380 pp., £12.95, July 1986, 9780670809424
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Peak Performers: The New Heroes in Business 
by Charles Garfield.
Hutchinson, 333 pp., £12.95, October 1986, 0 09 167391 7
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Going for it: How to Succeed as an Entrepreneur 
by Victor Kiam.
Collins, 223 pp., £9.95, May 1986, 0 00 217603 3
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Take a chance to be first: The Secrets of Entrepreneurial Success 
by Warren Avis.
Macmillan, 222 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 02 504410 9
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The Winning Streak 
by Walter Goldsmith and David Clutterbuck.
Weidenfeld/Penguin, 224 pp., £9.95, September 1984, 0 297 78469 2
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The Roots of Excellence 
by Ronnie Lessem.
Fontana, 318 pp., £3.95, December 1985, 0 00 636874 3
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The New Management of Local Government 
by John Stewart.
Allen and Unwin, 208 pp., £20, October 1986, 0 00 435232 7
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... books use narrative to bring large-scale history back into the depleted scene. Robert Lacey’s Ford traces the trials of enterprise, dynasty and corporate bureaucracy through the American 20th century. Peter Newman’s Company of Adventurers is a history of the early Hudson’s Bay Company, and here the spirit of ...

Through Unending Halls

Wolfgang Streeck: Factories, 7 February 2019

Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World 
by Joshua Freeman.
Norton, 448 pp., £12.99, March 2019, 978 0 393 35662 5
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... to more conventional methods (which did not in the end prevent them being taken over by GM and Ford, respectively). In Germany, meanwhile, co-operation between management and the works council at Volkswagen gradually turned into collusion and co-optation. The scandals included multi-million euro payments to the head of the works council and his ...

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