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Sabotage

Gavin Millar

13 September 1990
Citizen Welles: A Biography of Orson Welles 
by Frank Brady.
Hodder, 655 pp., £18.95, January 1990, 0 340 51389 6
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If this was happiness: A Biography of Rita Hayworth 
by Barbar a Leaming.
Weidenfeld, 312 pp., £14.95, September 1989, 0 297 79630 5
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Norma Shearer 
by Gavin Lambert.
Hodder, 381 pp., £17.95, August 1990, 0 340 52947 4
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Av a’s Men: The Private Life of Av a Gardner 
by Jane Ellen Wayne.
Robson, 268 pp., £14.95, November 1989, 0 86051 636 9
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Goldwyn: A Biography 
by Scott Berg.
Hamish Hamilton, 579 pp., £16.95, September 1989, 0 241 12832 3
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The Genius of the System: Hollywood Film-Making in the Studio Era 
by Thomas Schatz.
Simon and Schuster, 514 pp., £16.95, September 1989, 0 671 69708 0
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... Extrav agance and self-indulgence were among the kinder accusations levelled at Orson Welles by industry chiefs ...

‘Mmmmm’ not ‘Hmmm’

Michael Wood: Katharine Hepburn

11 September 2003
Kate Remembered 
by A. ScottBerg.
Simon and Schuster, 318 pp., £18.99, July 2003, 0 7432 0676 2
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... There is something slightly wrong with the apparently impeccable Philadelphia Story. The film works so well for everyone – director, actors, audiences – that the flaw must be very slight, and perhaps even an advantage, a wrinkle that enhances the smoothness of the rest ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: Katharine Hepburn

5 March 2015
... On screen​ , Katharine Hepburn looks as if she has made a curious contract with time. She has promised not to change, and time has promised not to count properly ...

A, E♭, C, B

Paul Driver: Robert Schumann

21 February 2008
Robert Schumann: Life and Death of a Musician 
by John Worthen.
Yale, 496 pp., £25, July 2007, 978 0 300 11160 6
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The Cambridge Companion to Schuman
edited by Beate Perrey.
Cambridge, 302 pp., £19.99, June 2007, 978 0 521 78950 9
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Schumann’s Late Style 
by Laura Tunbridge.
Cambridge, 246 pp., £50, October 2007, 978 0 521 87168 6
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... Robert Schumann died in an asylum near Bonn in 1856, having committed himself there two years before, following a suicidal plunge into the Rhine near his home in Düsseldorf ...

Mad to Be Saved

Thomas Powers: The Kerouac Years

25 October 2012
The Voice Is All: The Lonely Victory of Jack Kerouac 
by Joyce Johnson.
Viking, 489 pp., £25, September 2012, 978 0 670 02510 7
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... Jack Kerouac’s short life, big talent and last dollar were all just about exhausted when the young writer Joyce Glassman bought him a dinner of hot dogs and beans on a Saturday night in New York City in January 1957 ...
30 October 1997
... Fidelio’ is the one opera in the repertory that has the power to sway audiences even when it is indifferently performed. Yet it is a highly problematic work whose triumphant conclusion and the impression it is designed to convey of goodness winning out over evil do not go to the heart of what Beethoven was grappling with ...

What I heard about Iraq in 2005

Eliot Weinberger: Iraq

5 January 2006
... In 2005 I heard that Coalition forces were camped in the ruins of Babylon. I heard that bulldozers had dug trenches through the site and cleared areas for helicopter landing pads and parking lots, that thousands of sandbags had been filled with dirt and archaeological fragments, that a 2600-year-old brick pavement had been crushed by tanks, and that the moulded bricks of dragons had been gouged out from the Ishtar Gate by soldiers collecting souvenirs ...

Memoirs of a Pet Lamb

David Sylvester: A Memoir

5 July 2001
... I cannot recall the crucial incident itself, can only remember how I cringed when my parents told me about it, proudly, some years later, when I was about nine or ten ...

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