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Eric Hobsbawm: Memories of Weimar, 24 January 2008

... not political but intellectual and cultural. The word today suggests the Bauhaus, George Grosz, Max Beckmann, Walter Benjamin, the great photographer August Sander and a number of remarkable movies. Weitz picks out six names: Thomas Mann, Brecht, Kurt Weill, Heidegger and the less familiar theorist Siegfried Kracauer and the artist Hannah Höch. One could ...


Daniel Kevles, 17 August 1989

Thinking about science: Max Delbrück and the Origins of Molecular Biology 
by Ernst Peter Fischer and Carol Lipson.
Norton, 334 pp., £13.95, January 1989, 9780393025088
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Is science necessary? Essays on Science and Scientists 
by M.F. Perutz.
Barrie and Jenkins, 285 pp., £14.95, July 1989, 0 7126 2123 7
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... but he constantly tested and modified his ideas against an enormous array of observational data. Max Perutz, who was for many years the director of the Medical Research Council Unit for Molecular Biology at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, had a front-row seat during many innings of molecular genetics. He reports in Is science necessary? – a ...

Brooke’s Benefit

Anthony Powell, 16 April 1981

... insisted he was only an amateur among real botanists), and a surrealist collage in the manner of Max Ernst. In various thumbnail sketches of himself taken from different angles during early London life, Brooke sardonically presents a typical young intellectual of the period, toying rather ineffectively with the arts, writing poetry ...

Self-Made Man

Ruth Bernard Yeazell: Edith Wharton’s Domestic Arrangements, 5 April 2007

Edith Wharton 
by Hermione Lee.
Chatto, 853 pp., £25, February 2007, 978 0 7011 6665 6
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... she might have encountered Tristan Tzara, Louis Aragon, Man Ray, Duchamp, André Breton, or Max Ernst, with whom Gala [Eluard’s wife] was having a passionate affair. But Wharton confined her social life to her old friends from America, Paris and England, rather than making a life in the town. She was the lady of the manor, keeping her eye on the ...

Save the feet for later

Edmund Gordon: Leonora Carrington, 2 November 2017

The Surreal Life of Leonora Carrington 
by Joanna Moorhead.
Virago, 304 pp., £20, April 2017, 978 0 349 00877 6
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‘The Debutante’ and Other Stories 
by Leonora Carrington.
Silver Press, 153 pp., £9.99, April 2017, 978 0 9957162 0 9
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Down Below 
by Leonora Carrington.
NYRB, 69 pp., £8.99, May 2017, 978 1 68137 060 6
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Leonora Carrington and the International Avant-Garde 
edited by Jonathan Eburne and Catriona McAra.
Manchester, 275 pp., £75, January 2017, 978 1 78499 436 5
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... Carrington’s mother sent her a copy of Herbert Read’s Surrealism. The picture on the cover was Max Ernst’s Two Children Are Threatened by a Nightingale, which shows three female figures: one lying on the ground, fainted or dead; the second fleeing towards the left of the frame; the third slumped in the arms of a male figure. ‘I thought, ah, this ...

Naughty Children

Christopher Turner: Freud’s Free Clinics, 6 October 2005

Freud’s Free Clinics: Psychoanalysis and Social Justice 1918-38 
by Elizabeth Ann Danto.
Columbia, 348 pp., £19.50, May 2005, 0 231 13180 1
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... neuroses,’ he insisted, ‘threaten public health no less than tuberculosis.’ Max Eitingon, the psychoanalyst who funded the first of these clinics, later wrote that Freud had spoken ‘half as prophecy and half as challenge’. We don’t think of Freud as a militant social worker, but rather as someone likely to be found excavating the ...

German Scientist

M.F. Perutz, 8 January 1987

The Dilemmas of an Upright Man: Max Planck as Spokesman for German Science 
by J.L. Heilbron.
California, 250 pp., £14.50, July 1986, 0 520 05710 4
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... who believed in his country right or wrong even when that country became the embodiment of evil. Max Planck is famous to this day for his introduction of the quantum theory. He was born in 1858 in Kiel, which was then part of Denmark. One of his formative memories was the triumphant entry in 1864 of Bismarck’s Prussian troops, which recovered the province ...


Anthony Grafton: Warburg, 1 April 1999

... banking family and is said to have sold his birthright in the family firm to his younger brother Max, after reaching 13, the Jewish age of maturity, in return for a promise to buy him all the books he wanted. Aby rebelled against the family’s Orthodox and mercantile tradition; and like other German Jews from similar backgrounds, he decided to study art ...

Theories of Myth

Hugh Lloyd-Jones, 19 March 1981

Structure and History in Greek Mythology and Ritual 
by Walter Burkert.
California, 226 pp., £9, April 1980, 0 520 03771 5
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Myth and Society in Ancient Greece 
by Jean-Pierre Vernant, translated by Janet Lloyd.
Harvester, 242 pp., £24, February 1980, 9780391009158
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... during the 19th century, that all myths originated as nature myths to prove that its advocate, Max Muller, was himself a sun-myth. The members of the ‘Cambridge’ school, who did valuable pioneering work on the use of anthropological methods, made the mistake of insisting too strongly that myth originated from ritual. This provoked a strong adverse ...

At the Morgan Library

Hal Foster: Ubu Jarry, 19 March 2020

... do no differently.’ Nevertheless, the likes of Apollinaire, Picasso, André Salmon and Max Jacob were drawn to Jarry, who lived fast, died young and left an unbeautiful corpse, more or less suicided by poverty and drink at 34 (the autopsy indicated tuberculous meningitis, but it was absinthe that did him in). This grim end only added to his ...

Qui êtes-vous, Sir Moses?

C.R. Whittaker, 6 March 1986

Ancient History: Evidence and Models 
by M.I. Finley.
Chatto, 131 pp., £12.95, September 1985, 0 7011 3003 2
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... événementielle and German historicism as any Annaliste could demand. The final chapter on ‘Max Weber and the Greek City-State’ is one more demonstration of the abiding importance of Weber in the formation of Finley’s historical sensibility, while also, perhaps, a declaration of independence. The Annales historians gave respectability to the ...

To the Bitter End

Adam Tooze: The Nolde above the sofa, 25 November 2019

Emil Nolde: The Artist during the Third Reich 
edited by Bernhard Fulda, Aya Soika and Christian Ring.
Prestel, 320 pp., £45, May 2019, 978 3 7913 5894 9
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... as the epitome of a comfortable German modernism, far less edgy than Otto Dix, George Grosz or Max Beckmann, let alone the wild men of the 1970s and 1980s such as Joseph Beuys or Anselm Kiefer.It helped that Hitler’s personal distaste for Nolde’s work is well attested. His paintings featured prominently in the exhibition of degenerate art that opened ...

Ask Anyone in Canada

Neal Ascherson: Max Beaverbrook’s Mediations, 24 October 2019

Max Beaverbrook: Not Quite a Gentleman 
by Charles Williams.
Biteback, 566 pp., £25, June 2019, 978 1 84954 746 8
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... sharing a Paris hotel room with a small, grinning Canadian millionaire. This ‘deformity’ was Max Aitken, still only forty but already – despite the private objections of George V – sitting in the Upper House as Lord Beaverbrook and considered indispensable by Lloyd George and Winston Churchill. The First World War had established him as a ‘press ...


Thomas Laqueur: My Dead Fathers, 7 September 2006

... a statement that they would have expected their parents, as well as strangers, to understand. Max Weber’s mother slapped his face when he came home from university with a duelling scar, taking it as a sign that he was gravitating away from her pietism and towards the physicality and boorishness of his father. I don’t think my father understood his ...

A Gutter Subject

Neal Ascherson: Joachim Fest, 25 October 2012

Not Me: Memoirs of a German Childhood 
by Joachim Fest, translated by Martin Chalmers.
Atlantic, 316 pp., £20, August 2012, 978 1 84354 931 4
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... In 1986, as cultural editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, he published the article by Ernst Nolte which was held to ‘relativise the Jewish Holocaust’ and touched off the Historikerstreit dispute over the uniqueness of Nazi crime. Fest was a handsome, restless, rather unhappy man. In postwar West Germany, he never fitted into any of the ...

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