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Cute, My Arse

Seamus Perry: Geoffrey Hill, 12 September 2019

The Book of Baruch by the Gnostic Justin 
by Geoffrey Hill.
Oxford, 148 pp., £20, April 2019, 978 0 19 882952 2
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... by E.C. Bentley, the inventor of the form: ‘He said, “if anyone calls/Say I’m designing St Paul’s’ (a building which he completed in 1710). Hill’s poem lives locally in these small, self-delighting verbal graces that can have the air of deft contrivance or happy accident, while its more momentous and even ominous compulsions work themselves out ...
A Word from the Loki 
by Maurice Riordan.
Faber, 64 pp., £6.99, January 1995, 0 571 17364 0
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After the Deafening 
by Gerard Woodward.
Chatto, 64 pp., £7.99, October 1994, 0 7011 6271 6
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The Ice-Pilot Speaks 
by Pauline Stainer.
Bloodaxe, 80 pp., £6.95, October 1994, 1 85224 298 1
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The Angel of History 
by Carolyn Forché.
Bloodaxe, 96 pp., £7.95, November 1994, 1 85224 307 4
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The Neighbour 
by Michael Collier.
Chicago, 74 pp., £15.95, January 1995, 0 226 11358 2
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by Charles Tomlinson.
Oxford, 64 pp., £6.99, March 1995, 0 19 282451 1
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... and it is the latter category which dominates A Word from the Loki. In poems such as Paul Muldoon’s ‘Immram’, Blake Morrison’s ‘Dark Glasses’ and Armitage’s ‘About His Person’, reconstruction allows the reader to feel that he is playing detective. It is one of the dominant models for the contemporary poem – less a set of ...

Extenuating Circumstances

Adam Phillips: Paul Steinberg, 19 July 2001

Speak You Also: A Survivor’s Reckoning 
by Paul Steinberg, translated by Linda Coverdale.
Allen Lane, 176 pp., £9.99, May 2001, 0 7139 9540 8
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... moot point that Levi is not keen to consider. But now we have Henri’s own version of events – Paul Steinberg was his real name – in a book written forty years after the event. A book in other words long digested, written with a great deal of hindsight, and indeed foresight; a book all too mindful of the Holocaust industry and so of the genre in which it ...

Into the Underworld

Iain Sinclair: The Hackney Underworld, 22 January 2015

... though the audience could choose to bury you at any moment’. She summoned up a quote from Paul Celan: ‘There was earth inside them, and they dug.’ Chiara Ambrosio, like many others calibrating the difficulty of existence in an increasingly pressured environment, where substantial memory traces are redacted and the surface of things is ...


Fredric Jameson, 8 November 2018

My Struggle: Book 6. The End 
by Karl Ove Knausgaard, translated by Martin Aitken and Don Bartlett.
Harvill Secker, 1153 pp., £25, August 2018, 978 1 84655 829 0
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... and hardly anyone can do it or even realises it is the case. And there is much of interest on Celan as well as on Kafka. But just as he wavers between calling his own book(s) novels or autobiography, so here too he occasionally uses the word ‘essay’; and it is here that we must draw the line, at the four-hundred-page ‘Hitler essay’ which ...

Just don’t think about it

Benjamin Kunkel: Boris Groys, 8 August 2013

Introduction to Antiphilosophy 
by Boris Groys.
Verso, 248 pp., £16.99, April 2012, 978 1 84467 756 6
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... materialism sought to overturn, as if the conscious politics of an Eisenstein, a Brecht or a Paul Robeson could secure the meaning and effect of his art. Critics have been more bleakly faithful both to materialist philosophy and to any future class-free utopia when they have considered all would-be revolutionary art as itself marked by the contradictions ...

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