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Tales of Hofmann

Blake Morrison

20 November 1986
Acrimony 
by Michael Hofmann.
Faber, 79 pp., £8.95, October 1986, 0 571 14527 2
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Idols 
by Stephen Romer.
Oxford, 48 pp., £3.95, September 1986, 0 19 281984 4
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Opia 
by Alan Moore.
Anvil, 83 pp., £4.50, August 1986, 9780856461613
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New Chatto Poets 
edited by Andrew Motion.
Chatto, 79 pp., £4.95, September 1986, 0 7011 3080 6
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A.D. Hope: Selected Poems 
edited by Ruth Morse.
Carcanet, 139 pp., £3.95, April 1986, 0 85635 640 9
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The Electrification of the Soviet Union 
by Craig Raine.
Faber, 69 pp., £8.95, August 1986, 0 571 14539 6
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... One can see this from the first books of Stephen Romer (born like Hofmann in 1957) and Alan Moore (born 1960), and from the two outstanding contributors to New Chatto Poets, Adam Thorpe (born 1956) and Alan Jenkins (born 1955). One might call these four poets ‘sophisticated’, though this perhaps means no ...
25 May 1995
... that I first set eyes on Peter, at lunch in a restaurant, I think on Goodge Street, with Dudley Moore and Jonathan Miller, the meeting arranged by John Bassett, whose idea it was that we should all work together writing the review that turned into Beyond the Fringe. Having already written while still an undergraduate a large slice of the two West End shows ...

Straight to the Multiplex

Tom McCarthy: Steven Hall’s ‘The Raw Shark Texts’

1 November 2007
The Raw Shark Texts 
by Steven Hall.
Canongate, 368 pp., £12.99, March 2007, 978 1 84195 902 3
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... car crash’. To judge by his title, Hall’s starting point seems to have been the scene from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s 1986 graphic novel The Watchmen in which Rorschach, an alienated outlaw convinced that the world has no meaning other than that which we impose on it (which is why he is named after the ink-blot test), is betrayed to the ...

Into the Eisenshpritz

Elif Batuman: Superheroes

10 April 2008
Life, in Pictures: Autobiographical Stories 
by Will Eisner.
Norton, 493 pp., £18.99, November 2007, 978 0 393 06107 9
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Epileptic 
by David B..
Cape, 368 pp., £12.99, March 2006, 0 224 07920 4
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Shortcomings 
by Adrian Tomine.
Faber, 108 pp., £12.99, September 2007, 978 0 571 23329 8
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Misery Loves Comedy 
by Ivan Brunetti.
Fantagraphics, 172 pp., £15.99, April 2007, 978 1 56097 792 6
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... graphic novels simply enable ‘the bourgeois to read comics without feeling bad’; according to Alan Moore, they allow publishers to ‘stick six issues of whatever worthless piece of crap they happened to be publishing lately under a glossy cover and call it The She-Hulk Graphic Novel’. Moore and Satrapi, in ...

The Limit

Rosemary Hill

2 November 1995
Christopher Wood: An English Painter 
by Richard Ingleby.
Allison and Busby, 295 pp., £25, May 1995, 0 85031 849 1
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Barbara Hepworth: A Life of Forms 
by Sally Festing.
Viking, 343 pp., £20, May 1995, 0 670 84203 6
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... they set off in pursuit of the same, ultimately elusive, ideal. It was Hepworth’s son-in-law, Alan Bowness, who wrote (in The Conditions of Success: How the Modern Artist Rises to Fame) that ‘there is a general supposition even among the educated public that there is something arbitrary about artistic success.’ Neither Wood nor Hepworth suffered such ...

Knobs, Dots and Grooves

Peter Campbell: Henry Moore

8 August 2002
Henry MooreWritings and Conversations 
edited by Alan Wilkinson.
Lund Humphries, 320 pp., £35, February 2002, 0 85331 847 6
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The Penguin Modern Painters: A History 
by Carol Peaker.
Penguin Collectors’ Society, 124 pp., £15, August 2001, 0 9527401 4 1
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... Modernism’s finest and fiercest. The painters and sculptors run from Arp and Braque to Henry Moore, Antoine Pevsner and Tatlin; the architects from Aalto and Breuer to Tecton; the writers from the scientist J.D. Bernal and the architects Le Corbusier and Gropius, by way of the painter Mondrian, to the typographer Tschichold. The book begins: A new ...

The Voice from the Hearth-Rug

Alan Ryan: The Cambridge Apostles

28 October 1999
The Cambridge Apostles 1820-1914: Liberalism, Imagination and Friendship in British Intellectual and Professional Life 
by W.C. Lubenow.
Cambridge, 458 pp., £35, October 1998, 0 521 57213 4
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... not to be interested in what Russell, Keynes, Lytton Strachey, E.M. Forster, Wittgenstein and G.E. Moore made of each other. For another thing, some of them had an extraordinary impact on the intellectual and political life of Britain for much of the 20th century; philosophers still work in the shadow of Russell, Moore and ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 1998

21 January 1999
... Maureen O’Sullivan. The four of us from Beyond the Fringe had been invited as a unit and Dudley Moore had been prevailed on (may even have volunteered) to play the piano. With Coward in the room this was perhaps foolhardy and having watched him for a while Coward turned away, saying: ‘What a clever young man. He can play on the black notes as well as the ...

Fear in Those Blue Eyes

David Runciman: Thatcher in Her Bubble

3 December 2015
Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography Vol. II: Everything She Wants 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 821 pp., £30, October 2015, 978 0 7139 9288 5
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... principles and her private interests were at odds with each other. She was a conservative. Charles Moore’s​ recounting of this episode reveals the strengths and weaknesses of his biography as it arrives at the apogee of Thatcher’s power. He is excellent on the high politics and the potency of personal connections. Powell, who provides the source for some ...

Country Life

David Cannadine

5 November 1981
The Victorian Countryside 
edited by G.E. Mingay.
Routledge, 380 pp., £25, July 1981, 0 7100 0734 5
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... ecstatic reviewer. Now, nearly a decade later, the old world has been called in to redress the balance of the new, and we can take equal delight in this companion venture. Like its predecessor, it is a brave and sumptuous piece of publishing – carefully designed, handsomely bound and profusely illustrated. Even at £40 the set, it is a bargain. It is, in ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Inside Man’, ‘V for Vendetta’

11 May 2006
Inside Man 
directed by Spike Lee.
March 2006
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V for Vendetta 
directed by James McTeigue.
March 2006
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... streets, blow up another building.’ Or try again where Guy Fawkes failed. This was the scheme of Alan Moore’s ‘V for Vendetta’ series, which ran in Warrior magazine in the 1980s, although Moore, best known for the Watchmen comics, explained that the idea belonged to his co-author and illustrator David ...

At Tate Britain

Anne Wagner: Hepworth

26 August 2015
... St Ives studio. At the start, we find Hepworth and the other carvers of her generation – Henry Moore, Ursula Edgcumbe, John Skeaping – making common cause with a slightly older cohort, Jacob Epstein, Eric Gill, Gaudier-Brzeska, Elsie Henderson, Alan Durst. In works produced both before and after World War One, they ...

Short Cuts

Daniel Soar: Pop Poetry

25 July 2002
... no further encouragement. For one thing they were responsible for Truly, Madly, Deeply, in which Alan Rickman plays a ghost who tries to help his widow (Juliet Stevenson) come to terms with his untimely death. One of the tricks he tries is to recite Pablo Neruda’s ‘Dead Woman’ (‘I shall stay alive,/because above all things you wanted me’) – a ...

Heart of Darkness

Christopher Hitchens

28 June 1990
Not Many Dead: Journal of a Year in Fleet Street 
by Nicholas Garland.
Hutchinson, 299 pp., £16.95, April 1990, 0 09 174449 0
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A Slight Case of Libel: Meacher v. Trelford and Others 
by Alan Watkins.
Duckworth, 241 pp., £14.95, June 1990, 0 7156 2334 6
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... and President Reagan in particular. Entry for 18 April 1986, Not Many Dead The success of Michael Moore’s film about Roger Smith and General Motors has aroused an envious spirit of emulation in my breast. ‘Conrad and Me’, a script which I hone and burnish in slack moments, has the following points of mild interest. In the summer of 1985, I wrote an ...

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