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“... To be fair to AlanWalker, I should confess that I’m an amateur pianist who loves playing – or trying to play – some of the virtuoso music Liszt both composed and, of course, performed: relatively easy pieces like ...”
“... The second part of AlanWalker’s projected three-volume life of Liszt opens with events any biographer would relish. At the height of an immensely successful, indeed unprecedented career as an international virtuoso of the piano ...”
“... to sit and wonder where evolution would take them. Homo erectus was a specialist predator, sharing a world with close relatives, the australopithecines, who were equally specialist vegetarians. As AlanWalker shows in The Wisdom of Bones, to view Homo erectus as a kind of missing link would be a mistake. Walker’s is a case-history of a startling find, the nearly complete skeleton of an African ...”
“... that public expenditure has rarely been informed by a guiding sense of priorities is one of the subsidiary themes of the collection of essays on Public Expenditure and Social Policy, assembled by AlanWalker. Its authors – practising or preaching social workers and administrators almost to a man – share the view that public expenditure policies are dominated by an economic and financial narrow ...”
“... lady in celluloid history, do we not have the right, for £7.95, to know whether he could cut the mustard? Not, mind, that in the case of Peter Sellers such slivers of pillow-watching as come Mr Walker’s way bring us much closer. Indeed, there is a strong suggestion that the isobutyl nitrate he was taking to help weld the nocturnal bond between him and the sprightly Britt Ekland contributed ...”
“... writing a book – never to be published – on Proust, or rather on the act of writing such a book. I was reading – and then reviewing for this very publication – a biography of Franz Liszt by AlanWalker.* I was also reading – for amusement – the biography of Lytton Strachey by Michael Holroyd and one of Dorothy Parker by Marion Meade. In Holroyd’s book, I was most struck by some ...”
“... work for her, and what they undoubtedly had in common was the conviction that the Heath years were a disaster. This is what first bound together Ranelagh’s galère, ranging from Keith Joseph to Alan Walters, from Alfred Sherman to Denis Thatcher: the Institute of Economic Affairs competing the while with Enoch Powell for the role of the enduring spiritual godfather whose time had come. Ranelagh ...”
“... anthology of the nation’s soon-to-be second-favourite poems was brought to us by the BBC, who need 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 ...”
“... from the North, and that its constellations are named as they are elsewhere, although the novel’s narrator cannot resist wondering whether Andromeda might not have been black, even an Ethiopian. Alan McClaurin looks back at himself as a young man in flight, first, from the Vietnam War and the draft, and then later, in 1971, when, ‘dreaming of solitude and inviting my soul’, he returns to the ...”
“... them) – to the minor fiddles of a figure like Lance Corporal Jones, the elderly butcher in Dad’s Army who slips the buxom Mrs Fox a couple of sausages on the side. (In his LRB Diary for 2002, Alan Bennett cited a letter from a Grantham evacuee reporting the rumour that Alderman Roberts was ‘thought to be into the black market’. It is tempting to imagine that this was where Thatcher learned ...”
“... and drew the corpses of horses, only abandoning a cadaver when it stank so much as to be intolerable. My third choice is Lorenzo and Isabella by Sir John Millais, painted in 1849 and now in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. Millais’s picture was inspired by Keats’s ‘Isabella and the Pot of Basil’, a story retold from Boccaccio. Lorenzo is in love with his master’s daughter, Isabella ...”
“... in 1910 set up in the empty stockroom of Downs, Coulter and Co, a textile merchants that closed down in 1974. On the wall is an advertising calendar, ‘Textile Town Holidays 1974’, from Charles Walker and Sons, Beta Works, Leeds. Listed are all the vacation variations of Yorkshire and Lancashire, from the largest cities down to the smallest towns, Clayton le Moors, Littleborough, Tottingham ...”
“... Morvern Callar, the narrator of Alan Warner’s Morvern Callar (1995) and These Demented Lands (1997), reacts to the suicide of her boyfriend by lighting a Silk Cut, opening her Christmas presents and shaving her legs in a hot bath. The ...”
“... with appendices, footnotes, bibliographies. Malcolm Bradbury includes a ‘Select Bibliography’ and a ‘List of Major Works’. Frederick Karl offers up columns of elaborate notes. Marshall Walker supplies a ‘chronological table’ that correlates authors and titles with events (Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone the same year that Henry James published Roderick Hudson; Carl ...”
“... heavyweight; and celebrates his ‘dodginess’ in order to instal him in a post-dualist tradition of aesthetic theory – a missing link between Kierkegaard and Adorno. For Jonathan Dollimore and Alan Sinfield, he’s the original Queer wit, who would today have been the toast of Sussex University and Old Compton Street. Oscar Wilde, posing as a Post-Modernist. Like the most obliging of renters ...”