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Should we build a wall around North Wales?

Daniel Trilling: The Refugee Crisis, 13 July 2017

Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move 
by Reece Jones.
Verso, 208 pp., £16.99, October 2016, 978 1 78478 471 3
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Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System 
by Alexander Betts and Paul Collier.
Allen Lane, 288 pp., £20, March 2017, 978 0 241 28923 5
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No Borders: The Politics of Immigration Control and Resistance 
by Natasha King.
Zed, 208 pp., £16.99, October 2016, 978 1 78360 467 8
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... trying to exploit the chaos, out of power. But rather than protecting people from violence, Reece Jones argues in Violent Borders, such policies are in fact a cause of it. The central problem, as he sees it, is that in an age when barriers – to the movement of goods, capital, communication etc – have been coming down, the physical defences between states ...

Fundamentally Goyish

James Wood: Zadie Smith, 3 October 2002

The Autograph Man 
by Zadie Smith.
Hamish Hamilton, 420 pp., £16.99, September 2002, 0 241 13998 8
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... mere hysterical wisps alongside the sunny central story, masterfully controlled, of the delightful Jones and Iqbal families. The Autograph Man is, as it were, a novel made entirely of those wisps. Its central character, Alex-Li Tandem, is a dreary blank, an empty centre entirely filled by his pop-culture devotions. Around him swirls a text incapable of ever ...

Left with a Can Opener

Thomas Jones: Homer in Bijelo Polje, 7 October 2021

Hearing Homer’s Song: The Brief Life and Big Idea of Milman Parry 
by Robert Kanigel.
Knopf, 320 pp., £28.95, April 2021, 978 0 525 52094 8
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... King Alexander ​ of Yugoslavia was assassinated in Marseille on 9 October 1934, alongside Louis Barthou, the French foreign minister. When the news reached Dubrovnik, the bells rang ‘all morning long’ according to a ten-year-old American girl staying in the city. ‘Everybody spoke in an undertone except the roosters and my brother ...

At the National Portrait Gallery

Peter Campbell: Wyndham Lewis, 11 September 2008

... offers the poet and thinker. It is a representation that has more in common with the head of Alexander the Great on a coin, with Queen Elizabeth in any number of portraits, or Queen Victoria in the statues that stand on plinths in squares and parks all over her erstwhile empire than with a portrait like Sargent’s of Henry James, which encourages you to ...


Tobias Jones: On Chess, 5 June 1997

... They have no support from the state.’ Since the crown passed from the exiled Russian aristocrat, Alexander Alekhine, in 1946, only the iconic Bobby Fischer has wrested it from Russia. Chess is now practised by ominously boring people (like me) who recall classic encounters from centuries ago (Russell’s favourite is the so-called Pearl of Wijk aan Zee, a ...


Adam Mars-Jones: Paul Theroux, 25 January 2018

Mother Land 
by Paul Theroux.
Hamish Hamilton, 509 pp., £20, November 2017, 978 0 241 14498 5
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... and surly and spiteful’, and an eater of prunes because of ‘bowel worries’) from a review Alexander Theroux wrote of My Other Life. In Mother Land the casus belli is Jay’s telling their mother but not Floyd of his liaison with Melissa. In life it was perhaps the unflattering portrait of Anthony Burgess in My Other Life that riled ...

Eminent Athenians

Hugh Lloyd-Jones, 1 October 1981

The Greek Heritage in Victorian Britain 
by Frank Turner.
Yale, 461 pp., £18.90, April 1981, 0 300 02480 0
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... was treated as a document of its own time only after the appearance of the first volume of Sir Alexander Grant’s commentary in 1857. Turner interestingly remarks that Grant’s questionable treatment of the concept of energeia seems to have influenced Pater, notably in the famous declaration that success in life involves burning with a hard, gemlike ...

All Together Now

Richard Jenkyns, 11 December 1997

Abide with Me: The World of Victorian Hymns 
by Ian Bradley.
SCM, 299 pp., £30, June 1997, 9780334026921
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The English Hymn: A Critical and Historical Study 
by J.R. Watson.
Oxford, 552 pp., £65, July 1997, 0 19 826762 2
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... King Wenceslas’ (by J.M. Neale), followed by ‘Once in royal David’s city’ (Mrs Alexander); ‘All things bright and beautiful’ (also Mrs Alexander) is less familiar than it used to be, but was once possibly the best known of all. The most famous American poem of the Victorian age is ‘Away in a ...

Grande Dame

D.A.N. Jones, 18 July 1985

With Open Eyes: Conversations with Matthieu Galey 
by Marguerite Yourcenar, translated by Arthur Goldhammer.
Beacon, 271 pp., £19.95, October 1984, 0 8070 6354 1
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The Dark Brain of Piranesi, and Other Essays 
by Marguerite Yourcenar, translated with the author Richard Howard.
Aidan Ellis, 232 pp., £9.50, June 1985, 0 85628 140 9
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by Marguerite Yourcenar, translated with the author Walter Kaiser.
Aidan Ellis, 105 pp., £8.95, January 1984, 0 85628 138 7
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Coup de Grâce 
by Marguerite Yourcenar, translated with the author Grace Frick .
Black Swan, 112 pp., £2.50, October 1984, 9780552991216
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... He is fighting Bolsheviks in a world of confused categories – for we remember that young Colonel Alexander, later Lord Alexander of Tunis, was out there too, commanding 6000 men of the German Landeswehr. Yet hard Erick has something in common with soft Alexis, besides their almost stateless tribalism – for Alexis is a ...

Naughty Children

Christopher Turner: Freud’s Free Clinics, 6 October 2005

Freud’s Free Clinics: Psychoanalysis and Social Justice 1918-38 
by Elizabeth Ann Danto.
Columbia, 348 pp., £19.50, May 2005, 0 231 13180 1
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... of so long a contact with the hard surface,’ the analyst Richard Sterba recalled. In 1926 Ernest Jones set up a clinic on two floors of a town house in West London, with funding from an American industrialist, and Ferenczi initiated another a few years later in Budapest. ‘Eventually,’ Danto writes, ‘other psychoanalytic societies followed with ...

‘No, no,’ replied the fat man

Michael Davie, 3 December 1992

The Power of News: The History of Reuters 
by Donald Read.
Oxford, 330 pp., £20, October 1992, 0 19 821776 5
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... of his exotic cast, to leaven the lump of company accounts, technology and policy. Sir Roderick Jones, head and dominant owner of Reuters in the Twenties and Thirties, was a snob. He liked to employ Etonians, partly, to do him justice, because Reuters men were supposed to be able to mix easily with diplomats and foreign ministers. In 1933 the Etonian Ian ...

Anti-Party Party

Ben Jackson: The Greens, 7 May 2015

Honourable Friends? Parliament and the Fight for Change 
by Caroline Lucas.
Portobello, 281 pp., £14.99, March 2015, 978 1 84627 593 7
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... In 2011, the Greens took minority control of Brighton and Hove City Council, and in 2013 Jenny Jones, who has represented the Greens in the London Assembly since 2000, became a peer in the House of Lords. At the beginning of 2014, the party had 15,000 members; now the figure is closer to 60,000 (Ukip and the Lib Dems have about 45,000 each); most of the ...

Prodigious Powers

Hugh Lloyd-Jones, 21 January 1982

The Greeks and their Heritages 
by Arnold Toynbee.
Oxford, 334 pp., £12.50, October 1981, 0 19 215256 4
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... of independence: Toynbee casts a disapproving eye on the attempts of Rhegas Pheraios and Prince Alexander Ypsilantes. Skipping over the events which led to the establishment of a Greek kingdom, he moves from 1821 to 1921. Toynbee once more castigates the Greeks for having clung to ‘the Great Idea’: the hope of the reestablishment of something like the ...


Christopher Hitchens: Keywords, 13 September 1990

... but Insane’ was Ian Gilmour’s heading for his Spectator review of Michael Foot and Mervyn Jones, whose Suez book Guilty Men 1956 is still one of the best accounts of the collusion. The Spectator has often made trouble for the Tory leadership, with Iain Macleod’s bean-spiller on ‘The Magic Circle’ being the benchmark example until recently. Since ...

Full Tilt

Thomas Jones: Peter Carey, 8 February 2001

True History of the Kelly Gang 
by Peter Carey.
Faber, 352 pp., £16.99, January 2001, 0 571 20987 4
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... at me it broke my heart to see him taken down. That were the end of my friendship with Constable Alexander Fitzpatrick. This took place in 1877 the government were in crisis there was no funds for gaols or judges’ pay so when Dan got out of prison in February he were suffering badly his clothes hung off him his eyes was dull his skin had scabby sores from ...

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