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Ahead of the Game

Daniel Finn: The Official IRA, 7 October 2010

The Lost Revolution: The Story of the Official IRA and the Workers’ Party 
by Brian Hanley and Scott Millar.
Penguin, 658 pp., £9.99, April 2010, 978 0 14 102845 3
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... in Havana); his predecessor, Pat Rabbitte; several prominent trade unionists; the historian Paul (now Lord) Bew; and many writers and journalists, including Ronan Bennett and sometime Ireland correspondents of the Guardian and the Sunday Times. It would be hard to spend even a day in Ireland reading the papers, listening to the radio and watching ...

Post-Cullodenism

Robert Crawford, 3 October 1996

The Poems of Ossian and Related Works 
by James Macpherson, edited by Howard Gaskill.
Edinburgh, 573 pp., £16.95, January 1996, 0 7486 0707 2
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... direct or indirect sustenance in Macpherson’s poems: Burns’s visionary ‘duans’; Walter Scott’s ‘translations’ of ‘Highland Minstrelsy’ in Waverley; Fenimore Cooper’s translatorese standing in for Native American languages; Byron’s ‘Imitation of Macpherson’s Ossian’; Goethe’s Werther; and Thomas Jefferson, who said that Ossian ...

During the war and after the war

J.R. Pole, 11 January 1990

Oxford History of the United States. Vol. VI: Battle Cry of Freedom, The Civil War Era 
by James McPherson.
Oxford, 904 pp., $35, June 1988, 0 19 503863 0
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Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 
by Eric Foner.
Harper and Row, 690 pp., $21.95, April 1988, 0 06 015851 4
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... detail to convince us that this was no trivial threat. Drawing on the work of Don Fehrenbacher and Paul Finkelman, McPherson also presents a very clear explanation of the significance of the Dred Scott case, in which the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Taney declared the Missouri Compromise of 1820 unconstitutional, and ...

Sticktoitiveness

John Sutherland, 8 June 1995

Empire of Words: The Reign of the ‘OED’ 
by John Willinsky.
Princeton, 258 pp., £19.95, November 1994, 0 691 03719 1
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... nationalist (hence the pre-eminence, as cited sources, of Shakespeare, laureate of England, and Scott, laureate of the Union), and chauvinistically masculine. Jesperson’s luckless observation that ‘the English language seems positively and expressly masculine, it is the language of a grown-up man and has very little childish or feminine about it’ is ...

Diary

Paul Foot: Awaiting the Truth about Hanratty, 11 December 1997

... inquiry by a barrister, Lewis Hawser QC. Hawser did for James Hanratty what another barrister, Scott Henderson, had done for Timothy Evans, who was wrongly convicted of the murder of his child. By concentrating on minute differences of detail in witness statements, he managed to dispense with all the people in Rhyl who quite plainly saw James Hanratty on ...

Diary

Paul Foot: The Impotence of Alan Clark, 5 August 1993

... to do anything about what was going on – except expose it. Will he tell the full truth to the Scott Inquiry into Iraqgate? He tells friends that he only confessed at the Matrix Churchill trial because he was on oath and because Other people’s liberties were at stake. That sounds like a bit of self-justification after a rather uncomfortable ...
The Sea of Fertility 
by Yukio Mishima.
Secker/Penguin, 821 pp., £18, July 1985, 0 436 28160 0
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Mishima on Hagakure 
by Yukio Mishima.
Penguin, 144 pp., £2.95, May 1985, 0 14 004923 1
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The Life and Death of Yukio Mishima 
by Henry Scott Stokes.
Penguin, 271 pp., £3.95, May 1985, 0 14 007248 9
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... of the 18th-century code of samurai ethics, and The Life and Death of Yukio Mishima by Henry Scott Stokes, and Secker and Warburg Mishima’s tetralogy, The Sea of Fertility, in one attractive volume. At this year’s Cannes Film Festival an American film, Mishima, by Paul Schrader caused considerable controversy; and ...

Noovs’ hoovs in the trough

Angela Carter, 24 January 1985

The Official Foodie Handbook 
by Ann Barr and Paul Levy.
Ebury, 144 pp., £8.95, October 1984, 0 85223 348 5
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An Omelette and a Glass of Wine 
by Elizabeth David.
Hale, 318 pp., £9.95, October 1984, 0 7090 2047 3
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Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook 
by Alice Waters, foreword by Jane Grigson .
Chatto, 340 pp., £12.95, March 1984, 0 7011 2820 8
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... indeed make good 20th-century sense to worship food, but punters of ‘foodism’ (as Ann Barr and Paul Levy jokily dub this phenomenon) are evidently not about to drop to their knees because they are starving.‘Foodies’, according to Barr and Levy, are ‘children of the consumer boom’ who consider ‘food to be an art, on a level with painting or ...

Happy Few

Patricia Beer, 23 May 1991

Told in Gath 
by Max Wright.
Blackstaff, 177 pp., £11.95, January 1991, 0 85640 449 7
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... on Felix, the governor of Caesarea who appears in the Acts of the Apostles being preached to by Paul. (Not Saint, of course: we were all saints.) The humour is not in what happened to Felix, which is sad by any standards: he rejected God’s plan of salvation, threw Paul into gaol and swept out, presumably to ...

Major and Minor

Frank Kermode, 6 June 1985

The Oxford Companion to English Literature 
edited by Margaret Drabble.
Oxford, 1155 pp., £15, April 1985, 0 19 866130 4
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... re-edited by Margaret Drabble, aided by an impressive list of experts. The original editor, Sir Paul Harvey, explained that his intention was to be useful to ordinary everyday readers. He offered the dates and brief biographies of a large number of English authors, listed the more important works of fiction, with sketches of their plots, and made a point of ...

Into the Mental Basement

Thomas Nagel: Science and Religion, 19 August 2010

Natural Reflections: Human Cognition at the Nexus of Science and Religion 
by Barbara Herrnstein Smith.
Yale, 201 pp., £25, March 2010, 978 0 300 14034 7
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... Smith’s resistance is directed in detail against two anthropologists, Pascal Boyer and Scott Atran, whose analyses of religion are based on evolutionary psychology. Their approach, which she calls the ‘new naturalism’, holds that the operation of human minds can be understood largely through the identification of various subsystems or modules ...

Short Cuts

Ben Jackson: The Canadian Election, 22 October 2015

... that the opposition parties were looking more plausible than any he’d faced since he defeated Paul Martin’s Liberals in 2006. The NDP, traditionally an outsider on the left of Canadian politics, got a bump in the polls last May when it took power in Alberta, a province that has voted Progressive Conservative for almost fifty years. Mulcair entered the ...

Cutting it short

John Bayley, 3 November 1983

Alexander Pushkin: Complete Prose Fiction 
by Paul Debreczeny, translated by Walter Arndt.
Stanford, 545 pp., $38.50, May 1983, 0 8047 1142 9
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The Other Pushkin: A Study of Alexander Pushkin’s Prose Fiction 
by Paul Debreczeny.
Stanford, 386 pp., $32.50, May 1983, 0 8047 1143 7
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... his admirable study – his ‘other Pushkin’ is the storyteller and novelist, not the poet – Paul Debreczeny quotes Pushkin’s comments on Shakespeare’s characterisation. They go hand in hand with inconclusiveness, and show why it is that though Shakespeare had to finish the play, his characters never do. They are not completed by their dramatic ...

Bonfire in Merrie England

Richard Wilson: Shakespeare’s Burning, 4 May 2017

... winner of the competition to rebuild the Shakespeare Memorial was a 29-year-old woman, Elisabeth Scott, who according to Beauman worked as ‘a junior architect in a small London practice’, came as a shock. The press focused on the fact that she was related to George Gilbert Scott, the architect of St Pancras Station and ...

At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: British Art and the French Romantics, 20 February 2003

... of Horace Vernet’s Mazeppa, to see that there is more than nice observation of weather in Paul Huet’s picture of a lonely rider, Storm at the End of the Day. Dumas’s novel mixes operatic themes with the odd sourly realistic vignette. The exhibition shows how two different visual cultures produced what lives side by side in the novel: scenes of ...

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