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Marxismo

Jon Elster, 18 March 1982

Marx’s Politics 
by Alan Gilbert.
Martin Robertson, 326 pp., £16.50, August 1981, 0 85520 441 9
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The History of Marxism. Vol. 1: Marxism in Marx’s Day 
edited by Eric Hobsbawm.
Harvester, 349 pp., £30, January 1982, 0 7108 0054 1
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Dialectic of Defeat: Contours of Western Marxism 
by Russell Jacoby.
Cambridge, 202 pp., £15.80, January 1982, 9780521239158
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Analytical Foundations of Marxian Economic Theory 
by John Roemer.
Cambridge, 230 pp., £19.50, August 1981, 0 521 23047 0
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Karl Marx: The Arguments of the Philosophers 
by Allen Wood.
Routledge, 304 pp., £13.50, January 1981, 0 7100 0672 1
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... their philosophical outlook. An instance of the first fallacy is provided by Chapter Three of Alan Gilbert’s book, titled ‘Chartism and Marx’s Second Revolutionary Strategy’, yet almost exclusively concerned with Engels. The history of the second fallacy is traced by Jacoby, with particular emphasis on the little-known Italian opposition to Engels ...

Not His Type

Frank Kermode, 5 September 1996

About Modern Art: Critical Essays 1948-96 
by David Sylvester.
Chatto, 448 pp., £25, June 1996, 0 7011 6268 6
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... Sylvester explains that he became interested in art when, at 17, he was fascinated by a black and white reproduction of a Matisse. He at once began to paint in oils, but soon discovered that he lacked talent and began to write about art instead, devoting himself thenceforth to the black and white of the page. A left-wing ...

Flying Mud

Patrick Parrinder, 8 April 1993

The Invisible Man: The Life and Liberties of H.G. Wells 
by Michael Coren.
Bloomsbury, 240 pp., £20, January 1993, 0 7475 1158 6
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... T. Washington and to attend a black people’s congress in Chicago. He then offended some of his white hosts by calling for a mingling of the races and an end to segregation. More than thirty years later his commitment to removing social and racial inequalities was underlined by his membership of the Sankey Committee on Human Rights and by his 1940 Penguin ...

What Works

Michael Friedman: The embarrassing cousin, 31 March 2005

The American Musical and the Formation of National Identity 
by Raymond Knapp.
Princeton, 361 pp., £22.95, December 2004, 0 691 11864 7
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... culture. Or perhaps they are a red-state art form: patriotic, sentimental, hopelessly unhip and white, full of small-town values, at home in suburban high schools. Unlike jazz and film, which gained respectability as pop and TV supplanted their popularity, the musical holds its own lonely place in culture; it doesn’t quite belong to anyone. Raymond Knapp ...

At the British Museum

Peter Campbell: John White’s New World, 5 April 2007

... John White is famous for the drawings he made in the late 1580s which record aspects of the North American littoral: its geography, its inhabitants, their dress, customs and dwellings, and the birds, plants and animals found there. Seventy-five of White’s drawings, along with navigational instruments, maps, books and relics of 16th-century exploration are on show in A New World, an exhibition at the British Museum until 17 June ...

Boomerang

Sylvia Lawson, 18 February 1988

Australians: A Historical Library 
Fairfax, Syme and Weldon, AUS $695Show More
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... has been particularly grumpy in her gearshift ever since it went on.I resent it myself. As a white Australian who rather likes living here, I am the beneficiary of an invasion. If honour is due to Captain Phillip, a brave leader with amazing management skills, more is due to the convicts, who fetched, carried and built on the fatal shore, often in ...

At Tate Britain

Brian Dillon: Queer British Art, 7 September 2017

... than there are men – a fact the Tate curators acknowledge, along with the infrequency of non-white faces: ‘We have been constantly frustrated by the comparative scarcity of material.’ In a section somewhat dutifully titled ‘Defying Convention’, we find John Singer Sargent’s 1881 portrait of an austerely boyish Vernon Lee, and Alvaro Guevara’s ...

Spanish for Beginners

Lorna Scott Fox, 14 November 1996

Lola Montez: A Life 
by Bruce Seymour.
Yale, 468 pp., £20, May 1996, 0 300 06347 4
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... The fake Spanish dancer Lola Montez, née Eliza Gilbert, had one of those lives which make us aware of unlikely simultaneities. Operetta clanked against Western as she toured the gold-towns of the American West and Australia with a skit called ‘Lola Montez in Bavaria’. It was a farcical whitewash of her most infamous hour, when as a fake countess she had rocked an Ancien Règime court in the Year of Revolutions ...

An Infinity of Novels

Philip Horne, 14 September 1989

A Short Guide to the World Novel: From Myth to Modernism 
by Gilbert Phelps.
Routledge, 397 pp., £30, September 1988, 0 415 00765 8
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The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction 
by John Sutherland.
Longman, 696 pp., £35, March 1989, 0 582 49040 5
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The Haunted Study: A Social History of the English Novel 1875-1914 
by Peter Keating.
Secker, 533 pp., £30, September 1989, 0 436 23248 0
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... on for many of us, as for Trollope, ‘a terrible aspect’. It doesn’t apparently, though, for Gilbert Phelps, John Sutherland and Peter Keating, surveyors and encyclopedists of the form who in their respective fields have laboured with energetic exhaustiveness and not broken down. Each of these books feels as if it takes in an infinity of novels, and each ...

The View from the Passenger Seat

Lorna Sage: Gilbert Adair, 1 January 1998

The Key of the Tower 
by Gilbert Adair.
Secker, 190 pp., £12.99, October 1997, 0 436 20429 0
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... Gilbert Adair the critic writes with feeling and practised bitterness about the anxiety of influence – ‘that looming, lowering pressure exerted, wilfully or not, by those who have already “made it” on those who have not, a pressure cramping, crushing and on occasion castrating the creative energies of the rising generation ...

Mrs Perfect Awful

Mary Lefkowitz, 17 May 1984

Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behaviour 
by Judith Martin.
Hamish Hamilton, 745 pp., £9.95, September 1983, 0 241 11100 5
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GilbertA Comedy of Manners 
by Judith Martin.
Hamish Hamilton, 303 pp., £8.95, January 1984, 0 241 11157 9
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... lot, eager to betray the selfish motives behind their altruism. Like the repulsive, manipulative Gilbert Fairchild, the hero of Ms Martin’s cynical little novel, they know that what you wear, not who your ancestors were (his grandfather Max came from Lithuania) marks your position in society, and that saying or doing the Right Thing at the Right Time may ...

Inhumane, Intolerant, Unclean

Ian Gilmour, 31 October 1996

A History of Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths 
by Karen Armstrong.
HarperCollins, 474 pp., £20, July 1996, 0 00 255522 0
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Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years 
by Israel Shahak.
Pluto, 118 pp., £11.99, April 1994, 9780745308180
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City of the Great King: Jerusalem from David to the Present 
edited by Nitza Rosovsky.
Harvard, 562 pp., £25.50, April 1996, 0 674 13190 8
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Jerusalem in the 20th Century 
by Martin Gilbert.
Chatto, 400 pp., £20, May 1996, 0 7011 3070 9
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Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict 
by Norman Finkelstein.
Verso, 230 pp., £39.95, December 1995, 1 85984 940 7
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To Rule Jerusalem 
by Roger Friedland and Richard Hecht.
Cambridge, 554 pp., £29.95, June 1996, 0 521 44046 7
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... and to their diaspora, as well as to at least five wars, with more, probably, to come. Martin Gilbert quotes a remark by Curzon, the British Foreign Secretary in 1920, which well conveys the frivolous irresponsibility of Balfour and Lloyd George. ‘The Prime Minister clings to Palestine for its sentimental and traditional value, and talks about Jerusalem ...

Learning to speak

Gay Clifford, 21 February 1980

Gya/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism 
by Mary Daly.
Women’s Press, 485 pp., £8.95, November 1980, 0 7043 2829 1
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The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the 19th Century 
by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar.
Yale, 719 pp., £15.75, October 1980, 0 300 02286 7
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Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes 
by Margaret Dickie Uroff.
Illinois, 235 pp., £6.95, November 1980, 0 252 00734 4
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Women Writing and Writing about Women 
edited by Mary Jacobus.
Croom Helm, 201 pp., £9.50, October 1980, 0 85664 745 4
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... to try to utter.’ No woman would assent to that last sentence unless she wanted to end up a white goddess, or an ordinary white elephant. (The Kings of Siam used to give a white elephant to hated courtiers, who would then promptly ruin themselves on its costly maintenance.) Yet John ...

Perfuming the Money Issue

James Wood: ‘The Portrait of a Lady’, 11 October 2012

Portrait of a Novel: Henry James and the Making of an American Masterpiece 
by Michael Gorra.
Norton, 385 pp., £20, September 2012, 978 0 87140 408 4
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... Archer, is pursued by three suitors: the dashing, reliable Lord Warburton; the dashing, demonic Gilbert Osmond; and a relentless, even fanatical American industrialist who is called not Boldwood, but Caspar Goodwood. James accused Hardy of having ‘little sense of proportion and almost none of composition’, but it can be hard, at first, to divine much ...

Bear, Bat, or Tiny King?

Deborah Friedell: The Rorschach Test, 2 November 2017

The Inkblots 
by Damion Searls.
Simon and Schuster, 406 pp., £20, February 2017, 978 1 4711 3041 0
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... and those who focus on details are pedantic and unimaginative. The images are mostly black and white, but some cards have a little red in them, and the last three cards are psychedelic. Rorschach’s example of a ‘colour response’ – when what a subject sees is determined by colour instead of form – would be thinking that a particular red blot looks ...

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