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Michael Wood: Auden’s Likes and Dislikes, 2 June 2011

The Complete Works of W.H. Auden: Prose Vol. IV, 1956-62 
edited by Edward Mendelson.
Princeton, 982 pp., £44.95, January 2011, 978 0 691 14755 0
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... guilty community and fictions of innocence, and from there to the austere lessons of the work of Franz Kafka. Then comes a section on Shakespeare, including major essays on The Merchant of Venice and Othello. The move to the animal worlds of Lawrence and Moore is prompted by the inhuman (or all too human) curiosity of Iago about the evil he can do for no ...

Hare’s Blood

Peter Wollen: John Berger, 4 April 2002

The Selected Essays of John Berger 
edited by Geoff Dyer.
Bloomsbury, 599 pp., £25, November 2001, 0 7475 5419 6
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... his understanding of Marxism. By the 1970s he is writing in New Society about Victor Serge and Walter Benjamin, independent Marxists who were opposed to the Party line or idiosyncratic in their interpretation of Marxist theory. Serge was a former anarchist who was soon expelled from the Party and ended up as a ‘left oppositionist’, disenchanted with ...

I Could Sleep with All of Them

Colm Tóibín: The Mann Family, 6 November 2008

In the Shadow of the Magic Mountain: The Erika and Klaus Mann Story 
by Andrea Weiss.
Chicago, 302 pp., £14.50, May 2008, 978 0 226 88672 5
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... So were three of his children: Erika (also just most of the time; she made an exception for Bruno Walter, among others), Klaus and Golo. Suicide was a family theme too. Both of Thomas Mann’s sisters committed suicide, as did his sons Klaus and Michael, as did the second wife of his brother Heinrich. Also, gerontophilia. Bruno ...

Is Wagner bad for us?

Nicholas Spice, 11 April 2013

... bath’. Relations between the orchestra and the conductor, Hans von Bülow, grew strained: Franz Strauss, father of Richard and the brilliant first horn of the Munich orchestra, had a blazing row with von Bülow, stomped out of the pit and had to be coaxed back. Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld, who sang Tristan to his wife’s Isolde, caught a chill on ...

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