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American Masturbation

Alan Coren, 17 July 1980

Thy Neighbour’s Wife 
by Gay Talese.
Collins, 568 pp., £7.95, June 1980, 0 00 216307 1
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... reading in the bog. You simply select that evening’s fantasy – Barbi Benton, Raquel Welch, Ryan O’Neal, Teddy Kennedy – hold it firmly in your head, and leap aboard your spouse. Not easy with the light on. All the subjects of what Talese calls his ‘Odyssey’, doubtless leading the more academic reader to expect him to come home after nine years ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 2009, 7 January 2010

... this time at the Trafalgar Studios. I saw the first production at Wyndham’s in 1964 with Madge Ryan, Peter Vaughan and Dudley Sutton. Good in the part Sutton was already too old, as have been most of the actors who’ve played in it since. It’s a play I would dearly like to have written, though these days for it to retain its shock value the young man ...

Do I like it?

Terry Castle: Outsider Art, 28 July 2011

... short and wonderful poem, called ‘Outsider Art’ in The Best of It, a recent collection by Kay Ryan, in which she speaks of claptrap homemade objects ‘too dreary or too cherry red’. If it’s a chair, it’s covered with things the Saviour said or should have said – dense admonishments in nail polish too small to be read. No surface, she ...

Is it Art?

John Lanchester: Video games, 1 January 2009

... is the fact that she was also the main intellectual influence on her close friend and protégé Alan Greenspan, author of the recent monetary boom we were all enjoying so much until it destroyed the world economy. The only thing which isn’t ridiculous about Rand and her ‘objectivism’ is the number of people who take her seriously. It would be a good ...

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