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Aberdeen rocks

Jenny Turner: Stewart Home, 9 May 2002

69 Things to Do with a Dead Princess 
by Stewart Home.
Canongate, 182 pp., £9.99, March 2002, 9781841951829
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... go. Writers under discussion include Michael Bracewell, Dick Hebdige, Lynne Tillman, Kathy Acker, Jean Baudrillard, Paul Johnson, W.G. Sebald. The eateries and supermarkets of Aberdeen are visited, and rendered, as far as I can see, entirely accurately. (I come from Aberdeen, which is how I’d know.) Ditto the hills walked and the stone circles ...

The Man without Predicates

Michael Wood: Goethe, 20 July 2000

Goethe: The Poet and the Age. Volume II: Revolution and Reunciation, 1790-1803 
by Nicholas Boyle.
Oxford, 964 pp., £30, February 2000, 0 19 815869 6
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Faust: The First Part of the Tragedy 
by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, translated by John Williams.
Wordsworth, 226 pp., £2.99, November 1999, 1 84022 115 1
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... of what appears to have been a long Platonic affair with a married court lady, Frau von Stein. He longs to travel in Italy, a journey he has often imagined, and which he postponed when he came to Weimar. Finally, in 1786, he asks for and is given a leave of absence and takes off for the better part of two years, visiting Verona, Padua, Venice and ...

The Life and Death of Juliano Mer-Khamis

Adam Shatz: A Death in Jenin, 21 November 2013

... met Juliano in New York was beguiled: Danny Glover, Tony Kushner, the philanthropist and writer Jean Stein. Julian Schnabel cast him as a sheikh in Miral, Juliano’s last performance on film. Eve Ensler invited him to stage The Vagina Monologues in Jenin. In a city of hyphenated identities his mixed identity made him all the more attractive, and more ...

Après the Avant Garde

Fredric Jameson, 12 December 1996

Histoire de ‘Tel Quel’, 1960-82 
by Philippe Forest.
Seuil, 656 pp., frs 180, October 1995, 2 02 017346 8
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The Time of Theory: A History of ‘Tel Quel’ (1960-83) 
by Patrick ffrench.
Oxford, 318 pp., £37.50, December 1995, 0 19 815897 1
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The Making of an Avant Garde: ‘Tel Quel’ 
by Niilo Kauppi.
Mouton de Gruyter, 516 pp., August 1994, 3 11 013952 9
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... it was in 1963 that the first of the great exclusions took place, Sollers’s rival at this point, Jean-Edern Hallier, retrospectively observing that there was not enough room for two male hippopotami in that particular water-hole. The reorganisation of the journal was entrusted to Marcellin Pleynet (one of the merits of Forest’s history is that he gives ...

Cubist Slugs

Patrick Wright: The Art of Camouflage, 23 June 2005

DPM: Disruptive Pattern Material; An Encyclopedia of Camouflage: Nature – Military – Culture 
DPM, 2 vols, 944 pp., £100, September 2004, 9780954340407Show More
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... I well remember at the beginning of the war,’ Gertrude Stein wrote in 1938, ‘being with Picasso on the Boulevard Raspail when the first camouflaged truck passed. It was at night, we had heard of camouflage but we had not seen it and Picasso, amazed, looked at it and then cried out, yes it is we who made it, that is Cubism ...

The Pink Hotel

Wayne Koestenbaum, 3 April 1997

The Last Thing He Wanted 
by Joan Didion.
Flamingo, 227 pp., £15.99, January 1997, 0 00 224080 7
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... lacked the resources to just get on a plane and leave.   So why hadn’t she. Like Gertrude Stein, her fellow Californian, Didion puts a period where a question mark belongs, and thus turns ordinary speech into dour, frightening pronouncement, heavy with portent. What is a hotel? An ignored symbol. As Didion writes in The White Album, ‘the Royal ...

Introspection and the Body

P.N. Johnson-Laird, 5 March 1987

William James: His Life and Thought 
by Gerald Myers.
Yale, 628 pp., £30, October 1986, 0 300 03417 2
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... a similar defence of William in his relations with Alice. Many of her troubles, according to Jean Strouse, her biographer, were William’s fault. He is supposed to have dominated her, to have flirted with her, and to have contributed by his engagement and marriage to her mental breakdown. There is no doubt about his affection for her, and no doubt that ...

Cut, Kill, Dig, Drill

Jonathan Raban: Sarah Palin’s Cunning, 9 October 2008

... of honest citizens living on either side of the Puget Sound urban corridor. Poujade – and Jean-Marie Le Pen – would have had a field day here; as, I’m afraid, will the McCain-Palin ticket in November. Until now, the political leaders who’ve used the movement to their electoral advantage have come to it as outsiders. Reagan the Hollywood ...

Ismism

Evan Kindley: Modernist Magazines, 23 January 2014

The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines: Volume I: Britain and Ireland 1880-1955 
edited by Peter Brooker and Andrew Thacker.
Oxford, 976 pp., £35, May 2013, 978 0 19 965429 1
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The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines: Volume II: North America 1894-1960 
edited by Peter Brooker and Andrew Thacker.
Oxford, 1088 pp., £140, July 2012, 978 0 19 965429 1
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The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines: Volume III: Europe 1880-1940 
edited by Peter Brooker, Sascha Bru, Andrew Thacker and Christian Weikop.
Oxford, 1471690 pp., £145, March 2013, 978 0 19 965958 6
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... 1925, was considerably less daring: the fiction editor, Katharine White, rejected work by Gertrude Stein because ‘she was not allowed to buy anything her boss didn’t understand.’) H.L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan subsidised their succès d’estime the Smart Set with ‘louse magazines’ such as Parisienne, Saucy ...

Always There

Julian Barnes: George Braque, 15 December 2005

Georges Braque: A Life 
by Alex Danchev.
Hamish Hamilton, 440 pp., £35, May 2005, 0 241 14078 1
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Landscape in Provence 1750-1920 
Montréal Musée des Beaux ArtsShow More
Derain: The London Paintings 
Courtauld InstituteShow More
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... and women. He became, over the years, a living rebuke to vanity, pomposity, charlatanry. Gertrude Stein, who thought only Spaniards could be Cubists (and who later offered to translate Pétain’s speeches), wrote a ‘word-portrait’ of Braque in her finest mode of clotted twaddle. (Perhaps it was meant to be Cubist prose. If so, a bad idea – brushstrokes ...

Do I like it?

Terry Castle: Outsider Art, 28 July 2011

... for ‘art brut’ (‘raw art’ or ‘rough art’), a label created by the French artist Jean Dubuffet to describe art created outside the boundaries of official culture; Dubuffet focused particularly on art by insane-asylum inmates. While Dubuffet’s term is quite specific, the English term ‘outsider art’ is often applied more broadly, to ...

Adieu, madame

Terry Castle: Sarah Bernhardt, 4 November 2010

Sarah: The Life of Sarah Bernhardt 
by Robert Gottlieb.
Yale, 233 pp., £18.99, October 2010, 978 0 300 14127 6
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... person she encountered. Sexual partners included most of her leading men, notably sexy beast Jean Mounet-Sully, her beefcake colleague at the Comédie-Française in the 1870s (later known for his priceless mot, ‘until I was 60 I thought it was a bone’); the geriatric but still game Victor Hugo (he had directed her in her first Ruy Blas); Hugo’s ...

Fiction and E.M. Forster

Frank Kermode: At the Cost of Life, 10 May 2007

... interested in the science, the narratology, than in the story. Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is a short novel nearly everybody knows. Asked to tell its story you would have to give up any idea of following the order of events presented by the text. The play and the film give one an idea of the flattening out required to achieve the ...

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