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Flat-Nose, Stocky and Beautugly

James Davidson: Greek Names, 23 September 2010

A Lexicon of Greek Personal Names. Vol. V.A Coastal Asia Minor: Pontos to Ionia 
edited by T. Corsten.
Oxford, 496 pp., £125, March 2010, 978 0 19 956743 0
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... surrounded by boys with what I still think of as normal classic names: Simon, Mark, Peter, Andrew, Paul, Martin, Michael, Stephen, Richard, Robert, David. Girls’ names remained more modish: some Sarahs, Anns and Elizabeths and even some residual Marys, but also plenty of Janets, Jackies, Lisas and Debbies, who soared and plummeted through the bestseller ...

Some Damn Foolish Thing

Thomas Laqueur: Wrong Turn in Sarajevo, 5 December 2013

The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 
by Christopher Clark.
Allen Lane, 697 pp., £30, September 2013, 978 0 7139 9942 6
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... to inevitability.’ This doesn’t, I think, preclude the view offered fifty years ago by Paul Schroeder, a leading American diplomatic historian, that the statesmen and politicians involved felt themselves to be in the grip of forces beyond their control and that this perception influenced their actions. Nor does it mean that some – indeed most ...

Happy Man

Paul Driver: Stravinsky, 8 February 2007

Stravinsky: The Second Exile – France and America 1934-71 
by Stephen Walsh.
Cape, 709 pp., £30, July 2006, 0 224 06078 3
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Down a Path of Wonder: Memoirs of Stravinsky, Schoenberg and Other Cultural Figures 
by Robert Craft.
Naxos, 560 pp., £19.99, October 2006, 1 84379 217 6
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... him an inscribed copy of Chroniques and a gold medal depicting Napoleon and Marie Louise), was pro-Franco, and willing to curry favour with the Nazis if it meant he could go on performing in Germany. It is alarming to read on practically the last page of this book that Craft was trying to limit access to a proposed Stravinsky archive at UCLA in case evidence ...

Back to the Wall

Nicholas Penny, 21 September 1995

In Perfect Harmony: Picture and Frame 1850-1920 
edited by Eva Mendgen.
Reaktion, 278 pp., £45, May 1995, 90 400 9729 1
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... of interest in the history of frames has often come from frame-makers and dealers – such as Paul Levi, to whom the catalogue of the Metropolitan’s exhibition of Italian Renaissance frames is dedicated, or Timothy Newbery, who is one of its co-authors. Dealers have also mounted small scholarly exhibitions in both London and Paris. The most splendid of ...

Too Much Gide

Douglas Johnson: French writers (1940-53), 15 November 2001

La Guerre des écrivains 1940-53 
by Gisèle Sapiro.
Fayard, 807 pp., frs 220, September 1999, 2 213 60211 5
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Correspondance: Marcel Arland – Jean Paulhan 1936-45 
edited by Jean-Jacques Didier.
Gallimard, 397 pp., frs 140, March 2000, 2 07 075789 7
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Dialogue des ‘vaincus’: Prison de Clairvaux, janvier-décembre 1950 
by Lucien Rebatet and Pierre-Antoine Cousteau, edited by Robert Belot.
Berg, 285 pp., frs 120, March 2000, 2 911289 22 6
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The Collaborator: The Trial and Execution of Robert Brasillach 
by Alice Kaplan.
Chicago, 320 pp., £9.50, December 2000, 0 226 42415 4
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... 1073 people. The German Institute, which was attached to the Paris Embassy, sought to advance Franco-German co-operation in the new Europe, and a separate office was created to promote German culture and the ‘purification’ of literature. Books were seized (143 different titles in August 1940), and the names of banned writers listed (739 Jewish writers ...

Behind the Gas Lamp

Julian Barnes: Félix Fénéon, 4 October 2007

Novels in Three Lines 
by Félix Fénéon, translated by Luc Sante.
NYRB, 171 pp., £7.99, August 2007, 978 1 59017 230 8
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... In 1890, the neo-Impressionist Paul Signac offered to paint Félix Fénéon, the very coiner, four years previously, of the term ‘neo-Impressionist’. The critic-subject responded with modest evasiveness, and then a proviso: ‘I will express only one opinion: effigy absolutely full-face – do you agree?’ Signac did not agree ...
... declare that he wanted to be sure that he really was in with the upper classes and not, like Paul Pennyfeather at the end of Decline and Fall, once more drinking cocoa with Stubbs and listening to a paper on the Polish plebiscites; that everyone had stopped mocking him as a cuckold after his first wife had left him; that he was not, like so many of his ...

Promenade Dora-Bruder

Adam Shatz: Patrick Modiano, 22 September 2016

So You Don’t Get Lost in the Neighbourhood 
by Patrick Modiano, translated by Euan Cameron.
MacLehose, 160 pp., £8.99, September 2016, 978 0 85705 499 9
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... collaborationists. When he won the Roger-Nimier Prize in May 1968, it was bestowed on him by Paul Morand, a former adviser to Pierre Laval. Modiano defended his borrowings from anti-Semitic literature as a ‘kind of weapon’ against anti-Semitism, but this critique, it turned out, could also be read as a homage. Modiano’s​ best-known Occupation ...

Under the Sign of the Interim

Perry Anderson, 4 January 1996

The European Rescue of the Nation-State 
by Alan Milward.
Routledge, 506 pp., £17.99, May 1994, 0 415 11133 1
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The Frontier of National Sovereignty: History and Theory 1945-1992 
by Alan Milward.
Routledge, 248 pp., £14.99, September 1994, 0 415 11784 4
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Jean Monnet: The First Statesman of Interdependence 
by François Duchêne.
Norton, 278 pp., $35, January 1995, 0 393 03497 6
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... a free trade area looked as if they might be more attractive to Bonn, threatening the primacy of Franco-German commercial ties. But it was not the technical opinion of hauts fonctionnaires that decided the issue. Nor was it the personal preference of Mollet himself, who had always favoured European integration but been quite unable to carry his party, the ...


Frank Kermode, 21 July 1994

The Diaries of Sylvia Townsend Warner 
edited by Claire Harman.
Chatto, 384 pp., £25, June 1994, 0 7011 3659 6
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Sylvia and David: The Townsend Warner/Garnett Letters 
Sinclair-Stevenson, 246 pp., £20, June 1994, 1 85619 341 1Show More
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... with its nostalgia for the old ways, and its little jokes about religion (‘my theory why St Paul speaks as he does of women: that he knew only church workers’). A diary entry speaks of ‘that English mixture of the genteel and the raffish’, another of ‘lovely Suffolk, how it combines amplitude with modesty, a model to the English mind’. A sort ...

Grail Trail

C.H. Roberts, 4 March 1982

The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail 
by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln.
Cape, 445 pp., £8.95, January 1982, 0 224 01735 7
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The Foreigner: A Search for the First-Century Jesus 
by Desmond Stewart.
Hamish Hamilton, 181 pp., £9.95, October 1981, 0 241 10686 9
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Satan: The Early Christian Tradition 
by Jeffrey Burton Russell.
Cornell, 258 pp., £14, November 1981, 0 8014 1267 6
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... and Jews may perhaps be seen in their fascinating account of a small principality on the Franco-Spanish frontier, an area that included Rennes-le-Château. Its ruler towards the end of the eighth century was Guillem de Gellone, one of Charlemagne’s peers, a famous figure in epic and of Merovingian royal descent. His principality of Septimania ...

Hillside Men

Roy Foster: Ernie O’Malley, 16 July 1998

Ernie O’Malley: IRA Intellectual 
by Richard English.
Oxford, 284 pp., £25, March 1998, 0 01 982059 3
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... artists and intellectuals. His friendships with painters and photographers, notably Edward Weston, Paul Strand and Alfred Steiglitz, are preserved in some fine portraits reproduced in English’s book; for their part, the Americans seem to have seen in O’Malley’s uncompromising features the lineaments of the essential revolutionary, a Bazarov of his ...

World’s Greatest Statesman

Edward Luttwak, 11 March 1993

Churchill: The End of Glory 
by John Charmley.
Hodder, 648 pp., £30, January 1993, 9780340487952
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Churchill: A Major New Assessment of his Life in Peace and War 
edited by Robert Blake and Wm Roger Louis.
Oxford, 517 pp., £19.95, February 1993, 0 19 820317 9
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... have pressed for a separate peace during the September 1939-June 1940 period, when the Anglo-Franco-German war was conspicuously not raging after Poland’s rapid defeat. Newly-elevated into the government after so long an exclusion, with a well-deserved reputation for bellicosity being his only claim to office, Churchill could hardly exceed Neville ...

At the Opium Factory

David Simpson: Amitav Ghosh, 22 October 2009

Sea of Poppies 
by Amitav Ghosh.
Murray, 544 pp., £7.99, April 2009, 978 0 7195 6897 8
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... language (Spanish) and translated into another, English, three years after its first appearance. Franco Moretti has speculated that this novel and others like it speak to the world system from the periphery in ways that would be impossible if they were set in Europe or North America: they hold out the possibility of re-enchantment in our disenchanted ...

Once a Catholic…

Marina Warner: Damien Hirst, 5 July 2012

Damien Hirst 
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... Truth, 2006), remains at a level of literality that leaves no breathing space for the viewer. When Paul Ricoeur was thinking about the working of metaphor in The Symbolism of Evil, he pointed to the necessary enigma of the thoughtful symbol: it ‘does not conceal any hidden teaching that only needs to be unmasked for the images in which it is clothed to ...

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