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Diary

James Francken: British Jews, 1 November 2001

... recent negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. It accepts the recommendations of the Mitchell Committee, including an end to the extension of settlements. (An aerial survey conducted by Peace Now shows that at least ten new settlements have been set up since George Mitchell made his recommendations in ...

Diary

Tom Paulin: Trimble’s virtues, 7 October 2004

... his offer of a Sweet Afton, and as I do so he notices my copy of Dean Godson’s biography of David Trimble, Himself Alone, lying in the back seat with David McDuff’s new translation of The Idiot and some other holiday books. When I say I want to write about Himself Alone, he exclaims: ‘A thick brick like that! I ...

Why are you still here?

James Meek: Who owns Grimsby?, 23 April 2015

... politics and abdication in Grimsby is, for most people, to assume you’re talking about Austin Mitchell, the 80-year-old Labour MP who will step down in May after almost four decades. Mitchell won the seat in a by-election in 1977 after Crosland died suddenly of a brain haemorrhage. Muriel Barker, a veteran local Labour ...

Fat Bastard

David Runciman: Shane Warne, 15 August 2019

No Spin 
by Shane Warne.
Ebury, 411 pp., £9.99, June 2019, 978 1 78503 785 6
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... When​ the Australian cricketers Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were exposed tampering with the ball during last year’s test series in South Africa there was, along with all the faux outrage, some genuine incredulity. Why did they take such an insane risk? The subterfuge was so cack-handed – rubbing the ball with lurid yellow sandpaper, perfectly suited to be picked up by the TV cameras – and the potential rewards so slight that they seemed to be putting their careers on the line for next to nothing ...

What We Have

David Bromwich: Tarantinisation, 4 February 1999

The Origins of Postmodernity 
by Perry Anderson.
Verso, 143 pp., £11, September 1998, 1 85984 222 4
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The Cultural Turn: Selected Writings on the Postmodern, 1983-98 
by Fredric Jameson.
Verso, 206 pp., £11, September 1998, 1 85984 182 1
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... and Jack London. Their idea of a great Southern writer was then, as doubtless it remains, Margaret Mitchell first and Faulkner a distant second. If Jameson were to arrive tomorrow in Oaxaca, there to address an enraptured seminar on the Tunisian counterparts of Margaret Mitchell and Jack London, which of his Anglophone ...

‘Stravinsky’

Paul Driver, 23 January 1986

Dearest Bubushkin: Selected Letters and Diaries of Vera and Igor Stravinsky 
edited by Robert Craft.
Thames and Hudson, 239 pp., £25, October 1985, 0 500 01368 3
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Stravinsky: Selected Correspondence Vol. III 
edited by Robert Craft.
Faber, 543 pp., £35, October 1985, 0 571 13373 8
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... examined – those of Conversations and Expositions and Developments in the possession of Donald Mitchell, who edited them for Faber – do not indicate whatever Stravinsky’s contribution might have been; and that ‘very largely’ is just what one would like Craft to explain. The essay infuriatingly leaves open the question of Craft’s stylistic role. I ...

Alan Bennett remembers Peter Cook

Alan Bennett, 25 May 1995

... he regularly voiced was that at the house we rented in Fairfield, Connecticut in 1963 he had saved David Frost from drowning. In later years I saw him quite seldom, though if he’d seen something you’d done on television he’d generally telephone, ostensibly to congratulate you but actually to congratulate you on having got away with it yet ...

A British Bundesrat?

Colin Kidd: Scotland and the Constitution, 17 April 2014

... has advocated ‘home rule all round’ in a new federal union. A similar call has come from David Melding, the Conservative deputy presiding officer of the Welsh Assembly, in The Reformed Union: The UK as a Federation, published last year; while Conservatives at Westminster, including Kenneth Baker, Malcolm Rifkind and members of the so-called Democracy ...

The Tarnished Age

Richard Mayne, 3 September 1981

David O. Selznick’s Hollywood 
by Ronald Haver.
Secker, 425 pp., £35, December 1980, 0 436 19128 8
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My Early life 
by Ronald Reagan and Richard Hubler.
Sidgwick, 316 pp., £7.95, April 1981, 0 283 98771 5
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Naming Names 
by Victor Navasky.
Viking, 482 pp., $15.95, October 1980, 0 670 50393 2
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... Fourteen inches by 11, and weighing six pounds 13 ounces, David O. Selznick’s Hollywood is less a coffee-table book than a coffee table without legs. Its credits ape a blockbuster movie’s: ‘Executive Producer: Robert Gottlieb – Associate Producer: Martha Kaplan’, etc; and its first page opens like cinema curtains on a wider-than-Panavision main title modelled on Gone with the Wind ...

Obama’s Delusion

David Bromwich: The Presidential Letdown, 22 October 2009

... that he could trespass against objections by Obama’s negotiators, Hillary Clinton and George Mitchell, and the gamble has worked. The American desiderata were never backed by a sanction, and the Netanyahu government approved thousands of new units for the expansion of the Israeli colonies. This the Americans called ‘not helpful’. Healthcare has been ...

The Great Business

Nicholas Penny, 21 March 1985

Art of the 19th Century: Painting and Sculpture 
by Robert Rosenblum and H.W. Janson.
Thames and Hudson, 527 pp., £25, March 1984, 0 500 23385 3
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Romanticism and Realism: The Mythology of 19th-Century Art 
by Charles Rosen and Henri Zerner.
Faber, 244 pp., £15, October 1984, 0 571 13332 0
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Géricault: His Life and Work 
by Lorenz Eitner.
Orbis, 376 pp., £40, March 1983, 0 85613 384 1
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Tradition and Desire: From David to Delacroix 
by Norman Bryson.
Cambridge, 277 pp., £27.50, August 1984, 0 521 24193 6
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... later to serve as one of London’s first cinemas). Other French paintings, including a version of David’s Coronation of Napoleon, with its dazzling profusion of documentary details, were shown separately in London in the same period. By the mid-century touring exhibitions were taking some popular English pictures such as John Martin’s Great Day of his ...

Trouble at the Fees Office

Jonathan Raban: Alice in Expenses Land, 11 June 2009

... signalled by a chunky scarlet arrow, and accompanied by a caption such as ‘Cutting the grass at David Davis’s home is very expensive.’ The newly demotic Telegraph has exposed a lot of predictable wangles and fiddles, along with a very few cases of prima facie fraud, which may or may not stand the test of criminal prosecution. But it has used a brush so ...

The Slightest Sardine

James Wood: A literary dragnet, 20 May 2004

The Oxford English Literary History. Vol. XII: 1960-2000: The Last of England? 
by Randall Stevenson.
Oxford, 624 pp., £30, February 2004, 0 19 818423 9
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... from heaven to read every book in the world. His head must be dizzy with the minor works of Julian Mitchell and Francis King and Brian Patten and Maureen Duffy. His sleep must have been poisoned for years by worries about properly dating Piers Paul Read’s A Married Man. It is, in fact, a disaster to fill a book like this with storms of names and endless ...

Other People’s Rooms

Peter Campbell, 7 April 1994

Inside Culture 
by David Halle.
Chicago, 261 pp., £23.95, January 1993, 0 226 31367 0
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Buildings of the United States: The Buildings of Michigan 
by Kathryn Bishop Eckert.
Oxford, 603 pp., £27.50, June 1993, 0 19 506149 7
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Buildings of the United States: The Buildings of Iowa 
by David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim.
Oxford, 565 pp., £27.50, June 1993, 0 19 506148 9
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... David Halle’s researches earned him a licence amateur voyeurs would kill for. He got to nose about, more or less at will, in other people’s rooms. His study of the landscapes, portraits, snapshots, saints, masks and so forth which a representative group of Americans, in and near New York, have on their walls and shelves, of how they display them and what they say about them, required that he get to know more than a hundred and sixty different houses ...

Diary

Susan McKay: Breakdown in Power-Sharing, 8 March 2018

... of the Good Friday Agreement is marked at the beginning of April. The Clintons, Tony Blair, George Mitchell and Bertie Ahern were all expected to make an appearance. Recently it seemed that a deal was about to be made. May and Varadkar flew in to Belfast on 12 February, ready to welcome it. But it soon became clear that the talks were in deep trouble, so the ...

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