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Keys to Shakespeare

Anne Barton, 5 June 1980

Shakespeare’s Tragic Practice 
by Bertrand Evans.
Oxford, 327 pp., £12.50, December 1979, 9780198120940
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The Tragic Effect: The Oedipus Complex in Tragedy 
by André Green, translated by Alan Sheridan.
Cambridge, 264 pp., £10.50, October 1979, 0 521 21377 0
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Shakespeare’s Tragic Sequence 
by Kenneth Muir.
Liverpool, 207 pp., £9.50, November 1979, 0 85323 184 2
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Shakespeare’s Comic Sequence 
by Kenneth Muir.
Liverpool, 207 pp., £9.50, November 1979, 0 85323 064 1
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... years before. Certainly it seems, at first sight, to belong to a wholly different world from André Green’s The Tragic Effect. Green is a French psychoanalyst associated with the school of Jacques Lacan. Like Evans, he is a hedgehog: a man dominated by a single, all-embracing idea. For ...

My Books

Ian Patterson, 4 July 2019

... was a comfortable place to work and to teach in. It had large windows looking out over the green, armchairs and a sofa, and a small rug that was always edging its way across the stained fawn carpet. In an alcove just inside the door was the smallest sink in the world, with cupboards over the draining board. The cupboards were full of books, too. Most ...

Happy Babble

Christopher Prendergast, 7 March 1996

Revolution of the Mind: The Life of André Breton 
by Mark Polizzotti.
Bloomsbury, 754 pp., £25, September 1995, 0 7475 1281 7
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... manifestos, publicity, recruits, sectarian disputes, purges, punch-ups and, of course, in André Breton, a leader. Its proclaimed goal was the liberation of ‘man’ from the chains of the super-ego and of ‘life’ from the constraints of the reality-principle (‘reality’, Breton wrote in one of his many lofty pronouncements, was ‘a miserable ...

Three Poems

Jamie McKendrick, 5 October 2006

... as a kidor when my granddad used to sailtoy boats on the ornamental lakedesigned by a Monsieur Andréwho’d turned the municipal dumpof Buttes-Chaumont into a park– but the obelisk’s still verticalalthough the worse for wear nowits inscriptions are boarded-upand both its drinking fountainshave run dry and the brass tapsthey had have been sawn off ...

Flowering and Fading

Michael Irwin, 6 March 1980

by Charles Simmons.
Alison Press/Secker, 182 pp., £4.95, January 1980, 9780436464904
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by Botho Strauss, translated by Sophie Wilkins.
Chatto, 120 pp., £5.50, January 1980, 0 7011 2421 0
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The Followed Man 
by Thomas Williams.
Sidgwick, 352 pp., £5.95, January 1980, 9780399900259
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Reverse Negative 
by André Jute.
Secker, 264 pp., £5.95, January 1980, 0 436 22980 3
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... are pretentious, opaque or dull. Which glass would you rather have, she asks me, the red or the green? ... I can hear her quite close and distinctly, it’s barely tolerable ... What a godlike gift – a free choice between the red and the green glass! It becomes clear, in time, that the author has only a minimal ...

The End

Angela Carter, 18 September 1986

A Land Apart: A South African Reader 
edited by André Brink and J.M. Coetzee.
Faber, 252 pp., £9.95, August 1986, 0 571 13933 7
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Where Sixpence lives 
by Norma Kitson.
Chatto, 352 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 0 7011 3085 7
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... of the period of minority rule. The anthology of fiction, A Land Apart, was, say its editors, André Brink and J.M. Coetzee, ‘compiled amid the tumult of the uprisings of 1985’, although the writers they choose to represent had not then had the time to reflect upon that tumult in their work, and almost certainly have not had sufficient time ...

Ondine et Paradis

Mary Ann Caws: Breton in love, 8 September 2011

... of her friend Frida Kahlo). She was a painter, and ‘scandalously beautiful’, according to André Breton, who had married her and written L’Amour fou for her in 1937. I first met her in August 1973 in Simiane-la-Rotonde, a hilltop town in the Vaucluse, not very far from the cabanon, a small stone house in a field, where I spend my summers in ...

Chatwin and the Hippopotamus

Colin Thubron, 22 June 1989

What am I doing here 
by Bruce Chatwin.
Cape, 367 pp., £12.95, May 1989, 0 224 02634 8
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... vignettes of the art world. The section devoted to ‘Encounters’ – with Nadezhda Mandelstam, André Malraux, Werner Herzog, the architect Konstantin Melnikov and the fashion-designer Madeleine Vionnet – is balanced by odder meetings: an investigation into an Indian ‘wolf-boy’, a report on a sinister-ludicrous Boston messiah, and on a Chinese ...

Little Green Crabs

John Bayley, 12 October 1989

Albertine gone 
by Marcel Proust, translated by Terence Kilmartin.
Chatto, 99 pp., £11.95, August 1989, 0 7011 3359 7
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Marcel Proust: A Biography 
by George Painter.
Chatto, 446 pp., £20, August 1989, 0 7011 3421 6
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The Book of Proust 
by Philippe Michel-Thiriet, translated by Jan Dalley.
Chatto, 406 pp., £25, August 1989, 0 7011 3360 0
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Marcel Proust. Selected Letters: Vol II, 1904-1909 
essays by Philip Kolb, translated by Terence Kilmartin.
Collins, 482 pp., £25, September 1989, 0 00 217078 7
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... to Ruskin’s comment, in The Stones of Venice, that it was just as exciting to study the little green crabs in the weed on the mooring stage as it was to disembark and enjoy the Titians in the Venetian palazzo. The crabs in Proust’s case were the denizens of Sodome et Gomorrhe, as well as of the Faubourg St-Germain. The critics are still not quite allowed ...


David Goldie: Morecambe and Wise, 15 April 1999

Morecambe and Wise 
by Graham McCann.
Fourth Estate, 416 pp., £16.99, October 1998, 1 85702 735 3
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... banjo; Alec Guinness was mistaken for ‘Mr Wise’s’ taxi-driver; the exotic and much fêted André Previn was plain ‘Mr Preview’ – the name by which, he told McCann, he is still known to many London cab-drivers more than twenty-five years after appearing on the show. This is the levelling down on which the British like to pride themselves, that ...

Who takes the train?

Michael Wood, 8 February 1990

by François Truffaut, edited by Gilles Jocob, Claude de Givray and Gilbert Adair.
Faber, 589 pp., £17.50, November 1989, 0 571 14121 8
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... to see A Thousand and One Nights. ‘It’s better than The Thief of Bagdad.’ He reads Graham Greene, offers his young literary judgments. Proust and Balzac are the ‘2 greatest novelists in the French language’; Daudet shows ‘a mixture of glibness and sometimes vulgarity yet there’s talent there.’ Much later, turning down a proposal for a film ...

Edward and Tilly and George

Robert Melville, 15 March 1984

Swans Reflecting Elephants: My Early Years 
by Edward James, edited by George Melly.
Weidenfeld, 178 pp., £8.95, July 1982, 0 297 77988 5
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... city; the driver of the cart is also the nearest of the city’s many towers. Some time after André Breton renamed Dali Avida Dollars, James had to sell a big chunk of his collection, to pay the army of peasants he employed to build architectural follies in the Mexican jungle. A few old socialites probably remember James as the wealthy young cad who ...


Gaby Wood: On Gene Kelly, 21 March 1996

... he slid across the floor of a Paris apartment to swoon at scriptwriters Betty Comden and Adolf Green: ‘You wrote Singin’ in the Rain – my favourite movie!’ Or that it is why Godard intended Une Femme est une femme with its bright colours and reasonless singing as a tribute to Kelly. And why their friend Jacques Demy topped it all by actually ...

At the Ikon Gallery

Brian Dillon: Jean Painlevé , 31 May 2017

... journal Surréalisme, which appeared in October 1924. Painlevé had taken a personal dislike to André Breton, and had more in common with Georges Bataille, who reproduced photographs from Painlevé’s film of crabs and shrimps in his journal Documents. A text by Jacques Baron makes the expected connection with Nerval’s pet lobster (‘a gentle ...

Goat Face

Ahdaf Soueif, 3 July 1986

After a Funeral 
by Diana Athill.
Cape, 158 pp., £9.50, February 1986, 0 224 02834 0
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... Waguih Ghali’s excellent novel Beer in the Snooker Club was published by André Deutsch in 1964. It attracted attention and enthusiastic reviews. The same happened when it was reissued in the Penguin New Writers series in 1968. On the night of Boxing Day that year, Ghali wrote in his diary: I am going to kill myself tonight ...

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