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The Fishman lives the lore

Elizabeth Lowry: Carpentaria, 24 April 2008

Carpentaria 
by Alexis Wright.
Constable, 439 pp., £16.99, March 2008, 978 1 84529 721 3
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... over Aboriginal land rights that are the stuff of day-to-day contemporary politics. Open Alexis Wright’s Carpentaria, however, and the topic becomes live at once. The book – the first novel by an Aboriginal writer to win Australia’s Miles Franklin Award outright – is dedicated to two of ...

What’s Happening in the Engine-Room

Penelope Fitzgerald: Poor John Lehmann, 7 January 1999

John Lehmann: A Pagan Adventure 
by Adrian Wright.
Duckworth, 308 pp., £20, November 1998, 0 7156 2871 2
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... James, the always reliable butler, deals with that, the illusion of a dedication to poetry. Adrian Wright, in this new biography, refers several times to Lehmann’s half-commitment (in spite of his energy) to the professional life he chose. Fieldhead was the magic enclosure to which, as an adult, he looked back, wishing that it might have been possible to sit ...

Olallieberries

Stephanie Burt: D.A. Powell’s poems, 24 September 2009

Chronic: Poems 
by D.A. Powell.
Graywolf, 79 pp., $20, February 2009, 978 1 55597 516 6
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... all. Instead, in this mood, he must doubt or reject his calling (as the Australian poet Judith Wright did reject it) if he thinks he can do something better to help the Earth. And yet all the double meanings and allusions that we expect from more self-confident poetry crowd into these lines as well: in ‘scratched’, for example (which takes in the ...

Man on a Bicycle

Gillian Darley: Le Corbusier, 9 April 2009

Le Corbusier: A Life 
by Nicholas Fox Weber.
Knopf, 823 pp., $45, November 2008, 978 0 375 41043 7
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... Americans, he felt, failed to grasp his point – ‘to transcend mere utility’. Frank Lloyd Wright wouldn’t come to Chicago to meet him, commenting gnomically: ‘I hope he may find America all he hoped to find it.’ Le Corbusier never had much time for the niceties of human relationships. In the mid-1920s Eileen Gray, a brilliant furniture ...

Miracle on Fleet Street

Martin Hickman: Operation Elveden, 7 January 2016

... John Kay ran splash after splash based on her information, among them news of the death of Major Alexis Roberts, a tutor of Prince William at Sandhurst, in 2002; an army witness testified that Roberts’s name had been leaked before his family were ready for the information to be released. In 2010, a front-page story exposing the army’s failings in ...

Even Immortality

Thomas Laqueur: Medicomania, 29 July 1999

The Greatest Benefit to Mankind: A Medical History of Humanity from Antiquity to the Present 
by Roy Porter.
HarperCollins, 833 pp., £24.99, February 1999, 0 00 637454 9
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... wound to the stomach: fortunately for the doctor, not so fortunately perhaps for poor 19-year-old Alexis St Martin, a fistula remained which had to be plugged to keep food in, but which also provided an unexcelled window into what happened to food once it disappeared down the throat. So, in what a standard account calls one of the most romantic episodes in ...

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