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Piperism

William Feaver: John and Myfanwy Piper, 17 December 2009

John Piper, Myfanwy Piper: Lives in Art 
by Frances Spalding.
Oxford, 598 pp., £25, September 2009, 978 0 19 956761 4
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... a wan light on pews reserved for the use of MPs in St Margaret’s, Westminster, are untypical of John Piper. Normally, his stained glass seethes, particularly in Coventry Cathedral, where a Piper sunburst behind the boulder that serves as a font irradiates a great wall of clunky fenestration. In Westminster though, in a building studded with fanciful ...

Aliens

John Sutherland, 21 January 1982

Brave Old World 
by Philippe Curval, translated by Steve Cox.
Allison and Busby, 262 pp., £6.95, November 1981, 0 85031 407 0
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The Insider 
by Christopher Evans.
Faber, 215 pp., £6.95, November 1981, 0 571 11774 0
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Genetha 
by Roy Heath.
Allison and Busby, 185 pp., £6.95, November 1981, 0 85031 410 0
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From the Heat of the Day 
by Roy Heath.
Allison and Busby, 159 pp., £6.50, October 1979, 0 85031 325 2
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One Generation 
by Roy Heath.
Allison and Busby, 202 pp., £2.50, March 1981, 9780850312546
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Sardines 
by Nuruddin Farah.
Allison and Busby, 250 pp., £7.95, November 1981, 0 85031 408 9
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... diabolically nasty, as in Alien itself, or deistically nice, as in Spielberg’s Close Encounters. Evans’s visitor is, in the repertoire of SF gimmickry, a ‘body-snatcher’. These are traditionally unpleasant and very sneaky. It’s a pleasing twist to devise a parasite with conscience and not too good at looking after number one. His education from a ...

After Deng

John Gittings, 6 July 1995

Deng Xiaoping: My Father 
by Deng Mao Mao.
Basic Books, 498 pp., £20, March 1995, 0 465 01625 1
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Deng Xiaoping and the Making of Modern China 
by Richard Evans.
Hamish Hamilton, 339 pp., £20, October 1993, 9780241130315
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China After Deng Xiaoping 
by Willy Wo-lap Lam.
Wiley, 516 pp., £24.95, March 1995, 0 471 13114 8
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Burying Mao: Chinese Politics in the Age of Deng Xiaoping 
by Richard Baum.
Princeton, 489 pp., £29.95, October 1994, 9780691036397
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Deng Xiaoping: Chronicle of an Empire 
by Ruan Ming.
Westview, 288 pp., £44.50, November 1994, 9780813319209
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... have been more indulgent, though not everyone shares the glorious certainty of Sir Richard Evans, British Ambassador in Beijing from 1984 to 1988. He concludes that for most Chinese the Beijing massacre is a ‘blemish’ on a record that is ‘much more white than black’. Western governments were obliged to put Chinese human rights on their agenda ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Miles Ahead’, 19 May 2016

Miles Ahead 
directed by Don Cheadle.
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... The places​ were Philadelphia and New York, the names were John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Bill Evans and a few others, heirs to Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, spoken of with awe in every version of the story. Something called West Coast jazz, thought by many to be an oxymoron, was making itself heard in the persons of Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, Shelly Manne and Dave Brubeck ...

Mismatch

Rosemary Ashton, 17 October 1985

Troubled Lives: John and Sarah Austin 
by Lotte Hamburger and Joseph Hamburger.
Toronto, 288 pp., £19.50, May 1985, 0 8020 2521 8
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... It was fortunate for George Eliot, or Marian Evans as she was in 1852, that the philosopher Herbert Spencer rejected her brave and desperate pleas for him to marry her. If he had accepted, she might well have found herself in something akin to Sarah Austin’s position as emotional and financial prop to a miserable, selfish hypochondriac ...

Diary

Julian Evans: What might Larbaud have thought?, 31 July 1997

... single reference to Larbaud I was able to find in any text on Nabokov was a letter to a Professor John Kenneth Simon at the University of Illinois, sent from Montreux in February 1971, in which Nabokov says he does not remember ‘having ever read anything by Valery Larbaud – even in my youth when I absorbed a lot of contemporaneous French stuff’. Why was ...

Frognal Days

Zachary Leader: Files on the Fifties, 4 June 1998

Previous Convictions: A Journey Through the Fifties 
by Nora Sayre.
Rutgers, 464 pp., £27.95, April 1997, 0 8135 2231 5
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... and the people she met in their living room in New York: Edmund Wilson, James Thurber, Walker Evans, James M. Cain, Nunnally Johnson, S.J. Perelman, Dawn Powell, Joseph Mitchell and John O’Hara. Many of these celebrated figures, artists and authors approaching fifty at the start of the decade or only lately past ...

The Ballad of Andy and Rebekah

Martin Hickman: The Phone Hackers, 17 July 2014

... individual cases, including those involving three cabinet ministers, Blunkett, Charles Clarke and John Prescott. Edis told the court that while their papers were busy hacking to find evidence of other people’s affairs – in January 2003 the Sun ran a story calling Andy Gilchrist, then leading the Fire Brigade Union in a series of strikes against the Blair ...

A Plumless Pudding

John Sutherland: The Great John Murray Archive Disaster, 18 March 2004

... rest away. Plum-picking explains why Dickens’s dealings with Chapman and Hall and Bradbury and Evans have survived, while the bulk of their papers have disappeared (some B&E materials washed up in the Punch archive; those of C&H were, apparently, thrown out when the firm was taken over by Methuen in 1938). Only after 1945 did large libraries become ...

Captain’s Log

John Torode, 21 April 1983

Back from the Brink: An Apocalyptic Experience 
by Michael Edwardes.
Collins, 301 pp., £9.95, March 1983, 0 00 217074 4
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... in a company of about 198,000,’ Edwardes writes: his secretary, his personal assistant and John McKay, the communications director, all of whom had moved across from Chloride with the boss. It was some time before we hacks cottoned on to the fact that McKay was not an industrial public relations man in the surprisingly thoughtful mould of the motor ...

In place of fairies

Simon Schaffer, 2 December 1982

Stolen Lightning: The Social Theory of Magic 
by Daniel O’Keefe.
Martin Robertson, 581 pp., £17.50, September 1982, 0 85520 486 9
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Scienze, Credenze Occulti, Livelli di Cultura 
edited by Paola Zambelli.
Leo Olschki, 562 pp., April 1982, 88 222 3069 8
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... to have emerged from that study. The classics of modern social science, whether Durkheim, Mauss, Evans-Pritchard or Weber, have all been obsessed by these issues, which they connect more or less closely with the very origins of our own society. Here the origins of social science and the origins of modern society are traced to the same source. Stolen ...

Cool It

Jenny Diski, 18 July 1996

I May Be Some Time: Ice and the English Imagination 
by Francis Spufford.
Faber, 356 pp., £15.99, June 1996, 9780571144877
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... help one another, and meet death with as great a fortitude as ever in the past.’ Only Edgar Evans died a rather commonplace death – at the foot of the Beardmore Glacier, of concussion after a fall. ‘He died a natural death,’ was all Scott could manage by way of an epitaph for him in the last message, but then ...

Diary

Clancy Sigal: Among the Draft-Dodgers, 9 October 2008

... I recognised two of his aides as my UCLA classmates: ramrod-stiff, crew-cut Bob Haldeman and jowly John Ehrlichman, Nixon’s ‘gatekeeper’ and dirty-tricks adviser respectively. Bob, wintry-eyed and controlled, whispered urgently to a Secret Service guy. But it was Ehrlichman’s gaze that held me. Hot, angry, personal. From a sidewalk angle looking ...

Mistrial

Michael Davie, 6 June 1985

The Airman and the Carpenter: The Lindbergh Case and the Framing of Richard Hauptmann 
by Ludovic Kennedy.
Collins, 438 pp., £12.95, April 1985, 0 00 217060 4
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... justice: after 10 Rillington Place (1961) the Queen granted a free pardon to the corpse of Timothy Evans, who had been hanged for a murder he did not commit; A Presumption of Innocence (1976) brought the Queen into action again to pardon Patrick Meehan for a murder he did not commit; Wicked beyond Belief (1980) was followed by the release of David Cooper and ...

At the V&A

Rosemary Hill: Constable , 23 October 2014

... that the sketches had a ‘force of sensation’, but found the finished oils a ‘bore’. John Berger took the opposite view, that the completed works were rich in brilliant light effects, but the sketches were weakened by vague Romanticism. More recent left-wing critiques, especially since John Barrell’s The Dark ...

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