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How Movies End

David Thomson: John Boorman’s Quiet Ending, 20 February 2020

Conclusions 
by John Boorman.
Faber, 237 pp., £20, February, 978 0 571 35379 8
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... documentaries. He got the chance to try a feature, Catch Us If You Can (1965), with the Dave Clark Five. It won an audience and attracted some American interest. So that’s how Boorman ended up in Soho one night discussing a bad script from a Donald Westlake novel, The Hunter, with Marvin, who was staying in London. ‘What do you think?’ Marvin ...

After the Referendum

LRB Contributors, 9 October 2014

... of the voters had left their quiet houses, voted ‘No’, gone home and shut the door. At seven David Cameron was on the radio. He intoned the words ‘our United Kingdom’ so many times I thought I’d be sick. Whose United Kingdom? Theirs. The Eton Mess and their cronies. Big Business. Neocons. The warmongers. Not ours. We left Edinburgh at ...

Blunder around for a while

Richard Rorty, 21 November 1991

Consciousness Explained 
by Daniel Dennett.
Little, Brown, 514 pp., $27.95, October 1991, 0 316 18065 3
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... of post-Rylean anti-Cartesians in chronological order – Wilfrid Sellars, J.J.C. Smart, David Armstrong, Hilary Putnam, Jerry Fodor, Donald Davidson, Ruth Millikan, Patricia and Paul Churchland – one gets a clear sense of a developing consensus. There is increasing agreement about which moves will and won’t work, which strategies are dead and ...

Bullshit and Beyond

Clive James, 18 February 1988

The Road to Botany Bay 
by Paul Carter.
Faber, 384 pp., £14.95, October 1987, 0 571 14551 5
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The Oxford History of Australia. Vol. IV: 1901-1942 
by Stuart Macintyre.
Oxford, 399 pp., £22.50, October 1987, 0 19 554612 1
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The Archibald Paradox: A Strange Case of Authorship 
by Sylvia Lawson.
Penguin Australia, 292 pp., AUS $12.95, September 1987, 0 14 009848 8
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The Lucky Country Revisited 
by Donald Horne.
Dent, 235 pp., AUS $34.95, October 1987, 9780867700671
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... historical work about Australia – is exceptional in possessing an individual style. Manning Clark, doyen of Australian historians by virtue of his five-volume History of Australia, in scholarship towers over all his predecessors but writes no better. Here, drawn from A Short History of Australia, the indispensable one-volume condensation of his magnum ...

Dysfunctional Troglodytes with Mail-Order Weaponry

Iain Sinclair: Edward Dorn, 11 April 2013

Collected Poems 
by Edward Dorn.
Carcanet, 995 pp., £25, November 2012, 978 1 84777 126 1
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... Allen’s anthology. At six foot eight or thereabouts, Olson was an inconvenient guest, as Tom Clark, another itinerant US poet and Essex academic, told me when I visited him in California. Sunset to sunrise, Olson would rumble, thump, burn, growl; whaling his chain of Camels, as Dorn said, in one gulp. He hibernated, postponing an expedition to Dorchester ...

At the National Gallery

Charles Hope: Veronese, 8 May 2014

... Supper at Emmaus’ (1555) ‘The Conversion of Mary Magdalene’ (1548) ‘The Anointing of David’ (1550) ‘The Adoration of the Kings’ (1573) ‘The Adoration of the Kings’ (1573-4) ‘Lucretia’ (1585) ‘Perseus and Andromeda’ (1576-78) ‘The Rape of Europa’ (1575)PreviousNext That having been said, the exhibition does contain some ...

At the Shrink

Janique Vigier, 22 October 2020

... In​ the spring of 1972, the poet Bernadette Mayer began to keep a journal for her analyst, David Rubinfine, whose patients included Tuesday Weld and Anthony Perkins, and who was notorious for having married another patient, Elaine May, a decade earlier. Mayer was 27. In the journal – there were two, in fact; Rubinfine read one while she wrote in the other – she attempted to record her states of consciousness ...

Everything bar the Chopsticks

T.H. Barrett, 30 October 1997

The City of Light 
by Jacob d’Ancona, translated and edited by David Selbourne.
Little, Brown, 392 pp., £22.50, October 1997, 0 316 63968 0
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... phrase corresponding exactly to our ‘terra incognita’, a label unknown to Chinese cartography. David Selbourne was probably unaware of these fakes when he embarked on his translation of the text he now entitles The City of Light, but it is worth pointing them out, just to make clear that the notion that Italian manuscripts concerning medieval Asian ...

The Court

Richard Eyre, 23 September 1993

The Long Distance Runner 
by Tony Richardson.
Faber, 277 pp., £17.50, September 1993, 0 571 16852 3
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... Cup Final ...’ ‘When we had Huw Wheldon at the BBC ...’ ‘When we were first married ...’ David Hare calls the curators of these arcadias the ‘whenwes’. They guard their territory with a dogged devotion. Although the theatre is a medium that exists entirely in the present tense, it is not immune to the arcadian virus: ‘the National Theatre at ...

His Own Sort of Outsider

Philip Clark: Tippett’s Knack, 16 July 2020

Michael Tippett: The Biography 
by Oliver Soden.
Weidenfeld, 750 pp., £25, April 2019, 978 1 4746 0602 8
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... as the trial approached, his attitude changed perceptibly. Writing to his friend the journalist David Ayerst, Tippett declared himself ‘very much at peace and ready to go’.On 21 August 1943, at 7.30 a.m. precisely, after serving two months of his three-month sentence, Tippett was released from Wormwood Scrubs. He was met by Britten and Pears, who would ...

English Individualism Revisited

Alan Ryan, 21 January 1988

The Culture of Capitalism 
by Alan Macfarlane.
Blackwell, 254 pp., £19.50, August 1987, 0 631 13626 6
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... by setting about it with the enthusiasm of crusaders clearing the infidel from Jerusalem. David Herlihy of Harvard derided it as ‘a silly book, founded on faulty method and propounding a preposterous thesis’, while Lawrence Stone thought it advanced ‘an implausible hypothesis based on a far-fetched connection with one still uproven fact of ...

I wish she’d been a dog

Elaine Showalter, 7 February 1991

Jean Stafford: The Savage Heart 
by Charlotte Margolis Goodman.
Texas, 394 pp., $24.95, May 1990, 0 292 74022 0
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Jean Stafford: A Biography 
by David Roberts.
Chatto, 494 pp., £16.95, August 1988, 0 7011 3010 5
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... always look battered, her eyes teary and ‘permanently welled-up’. As Lowell’s friend Blair Clark remarked, ‘there was about a 25 per cent reduction of the aesthetic value in her face.’ The cruel precision of this figure reflects not so much Clark’s brutality as widely-held attitudes about the market value of ...

Lost in Beauty

Michael Newton: Montgomery Clift, 7 October 2010

The Passion of Montgomery Clift 
by Amy Lawrence.
California, 333 pp., £16.95, May 2010, 978 0 520 26047 4
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... and a masochist; for more than 15 years he was also one of the finest actors in America – as Clark Gable put it, ‘that faggot is a hell of an actor.’ His beauty, his drinking, his homosexuality, his failure and his unaccountable talent have all re-formed themselves as elements of the icon that stands in for Clift, a potent image of the suffering ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 1998, 21 January 1999

... and after, with reminiscences by various advertisements for the system, including Kenneth Clarke, David Puttnam and Barry Hines. Listening to their recollections of taking and passing the eleven-plus makes me wonder whether I ever took it at all. I had jumped one or two classes at my primary school so by July 1944 when I left to go to secondary school, I was ...
Once a Jolly Bagman: Memoirs 
by Alistair McAlpine.
Weidenfeld, 269 pp., £20, March 1997, 9780297817376
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... Order of the Brown Nose would stumble before long on an obsequious supplementary question from David Evans, one of the very first Tories to make a million out of privatisation (in his case from rubbish collection). Again and again, at Prime Minister’s Question Time, the blustering MP for Welwyn and Hatfield would rise to sing the praises of his hero in ...

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