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Irishness is for other people

Terry Eagleton: Enrique Vila-Matas, 19 July 2012

Dublinesque 
by Enrique Vila-Matas, translated by Anne McLean and Rosalind Harvey.
Harvill Secker, 245 pp., £16.99, June 2012, 978 1 84655 489 6
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... is a kernel of truth to the notion of Ireland as a breeder of fantasies. Culture – from Bono to Brian Friel, Heaney to Riverdance – is modern Ireland’s most remarkable export. There is a small but impressive film industry known as Paddywood. Artists in Ireland are exempt from income tax on their work, and this respect for the arts goes a long way ...

The Young Man One Hopes For

Jonathan Rée: The Wittgensteins, 19 November 2019

Wittgenstein’s Family Letters: Corresponding with Ludwig 
edited by Brian McGuinness, translated by Peter Winslow.
Bloomsbury, 300 pp., £20, November 2018, 978 1 4742 9813 1
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... and language rather than timeless objects located in some ideal world. Russell’s friend G.E. Moore had already wowed the gilded youth of Cambridge with his doctrine that ‘goodness’ and ‘beauty’ are supernatural entities accessible only to first-class minds, and Russell was trying to do something similar for logic, maintaining that anyone clever ...

Who is Stewart Home?

Iain Sinclair, 23 June 1994

... by Freddie Bird, a well-respected face, who witnessed the current Mr Squires (a pre-Bond Roger Moore) doing a runner, before the bouncers moved in.Home’s praxis is the stuff of London: confrontation, violence, ‘the poetry of the inarticulate’. He was born on the southern fringes of Merton (close to the parklands once tended by the bucolic poet Chris ...

Tinkering

Mark Greif: Walt Disney, 7 June 2007

Walt Disney: The Biography 
by Neal Gabler.
Aurum, 766 pp., £25, May 2007, 978 1 84513 277 4
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The Animated Man: A Life of Walt Disney 
by Michael Barrier.
California, 393 pp., £18.95, April 2007, 978 0 520 24117 6
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Drawing the Line: The Untold Story of the Animation Unions from Bosko to Bart Simpson 
by Tom Sito.
Kentucky, 440 pp., £19.95, September 2006, 0 8131 2407 7
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... for having made great work by such inartistic means. One is the naive artist: the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson reputedly arranged his masterpiece, Pet Sounds, by sitting all day with a small orchestra and singing each instrumentalist his part. He’d have the ensemble perform, then he’d make alterations, listen again, and so forth, until the arrangement ...

Wild about Misia

Clive James, 4 September 1980

Misia 
by Arthur Gold and Robert Fizdale.
Macmillan, 337 pp., £10, June 1980, 0 333 28165 9
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... the will, as Chesterton pointed out, means nothing if not the willingness to give things up. Tom Moore sang for his supper until there was nothing left of him, but it was not the fault of Holland House, which could be walked away from, as Byron proved. There is a crushing sort of determinism which tries to make social élites responsible for the corruption ...

The Cadaver Club

Iain Sinclair, 22 December 1994

Original Sin 
by P.D. James.
Faber, 426 pp., £14.99, October 1994, 0 571 17253 9
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Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 282 pp., £14.99, September 1994, 1 85619 507 4
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The Hidden Files: An Autobiography 
by Derek Raymond.
Warner, 342 pp., £5.99, December 1994, 0 7515 1184 6
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Not till the Red Fog Rises 
by Derek Raymond.
Little, Brown, 248 pp., £15.99, December 1994, 0 316 91014 7
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... than the Book of Revelation. Orwell had Eton and the military police to draw on for 1984, and Alan Moore (V for Vendetta) had Orwell. What’s interesting is that for this ‘entirely new departure’ James stayed so close to the sense that runs through all her work of the horror of human intimacy, of touch (‘a collection of bones loosely held together by a ...

‘Someone you had to be a bit careful with’

David Sylvester: Gallery Rogues, 30 March 2000

Groovy Bob: The Life and Times of Robert Fraser 
by Harriet Vyner.
Faber, 317 pp., £20, October 1999, 0 571 19627 6
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... which in the contemporary field had lately consummated takeovers of many artists, including Moore and Bacon, who had been nursed to fame by pioneering smaller firms. And there were specialists in contemporary art whose positions were generally now weakening, such as Gimpel’s, the Hanover and the Beaux Arts. Fraser’s was one of a batch of new ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2012, 3 January 2013

... done so unselfconsciously and without a smile R. feels that for this alone they deserve to win. Brian, Stewie, David Mamet, Alan Bennett and Yasmina Reza in Family Guy. 25 April. At five a car comes to take me down to Silk studios on Berwick Street to record a voiceover (of my own voice) for an episode of Family Guy, the story being that ...

Into the Underworld

Iain Sinclair: The Hackney Underworld, 22 January 2015

... Professor Challenger, who would now be seen a natural performer for the television age, Patrick Moore channelled by Brian Blessed, sinks a shaft in Sussex, going deeper than anyone has gone before, to prove that ‘the world upon which we live is itself a living organism, endowed … with a circulation, a respiration, and ...

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