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At Miss Whitehead’s

Edward Said, 7 July 1994

The Sixties: The Last Journal, 1960-1972 
by Edmund Wilson, edited by Lewis Dabney.
Farrar, Straus, 968 pp., $35, July 1993, 0 374 26554 2
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... psychology, the mystery of Oscar Wilde, the American Indians, Haitian fiction, Russian poetry, Malraux’s theory of art – there isn’t an unclear or inelegant sentence, an unnecessary theory or an overt ideological sentiment. He remained a patient explainer, reliable guide, and thoroughly down-to-earth critic, a large part of whose work was done for ...

English Words and French Authors

John Sturrock, 8 February 1990

A New History of French Literature 
edited by Denis Hollier.
Harvard, 1280 pp., £39.95, October 1989, 0 674 61565 4
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... Morin is Jailed for Having Published the Anonymous Cymbalum Mundi,’ or ‘1925, November. At 56, André Gide publishes Les Faux-Monnayeurs, His First Novel.’ Then, by way of a temporal recap, at the end there is a second list, of for the most part political French dates, progressing from the Roman invasion of 125 BC to the re-election as President in 1988 ...

Hitchcocko-Hawksien

Christopher Prendergast, 5 June 1997

Projections 7 
edited by John Boorman and Walter Donohue.
Faber, 308 pp., £11.99, April 1997, 0 571 19033 2
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Cahiers du cinema. Vol. I: The Fifties. Neo-Realism, Hollywood, New Wave 
edited by Jim Hillier.
Routledge, 312 pp., £65, September 1996, 0 415 15105 8
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Cahiers du cinema. Vol. II: The Sixties. New Wave, New Cinema, Re-evaluating Hollywood 
edited by Jim Hillier.
Routledge, 363 pp., £65, September 1996, 0 415 15106 6
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Cahiers du cinema. Vol. III: 1969-72. The Politics of Representation 
edited by Nick Browne.
Routledge, 352 pp., £65, September 1996, 0 415 02987 2
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... in France during the period. In the Fifties (the timespan of Volume I), the key players were André Bazin (effectively the journal’s founding father) and François Truffaut. They had a distinctive and controversial agenda: to promote an idea of film as simultaneously a sophisticated, autonomous art-form and the form most suited to a modern democratic ...

Preposterous Timing

Hal Foster: Medieval Modern Art, 8 November 2012

Medieval Modern: Art out of Time 
by Alexander Nagel.
Thames and Hudson, 312 pp., £29.95, November 2012, 978 0 500 23897 4
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Depositions: Scenes from the Late Medieval Church and the Modern Museum 
by Amy Knight Powell.
Zone, 369 pp., £24.95, May 2012, 978 1 935408 20 8
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... are suggestive, but how much do they explain when put to the test? Inspired by a remark by André Breton about Picasso, Nagel compares Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) with a Cimabue altarpiece of the Virgin and Child Enthroned with Angels (c.1280-90). It is true that both are large paintings with multiple figures who gaze outward, which renders them ...

The Moronic Inferno

Martin Amis, 1 April 1982

The Dean’s December 
by Saul Bellow.
Secker, 312 pp., £7.95, March 1982, 0 436 03952 4
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... intentions. A pivotal figure in the book, Dewey Spangler is somewhere between Walter Lippmann and André Malraux, a flashy trader in geopolitical generalities and global diagnoses. ‘Dewey’, of course, is America’s great philosopher, its star-spangled thinker: and ‘Spangler’, I suspect, has something to do with the decline of the West. The ...

Grail Trail

C.H. Roberts, 4 March 1982

The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail 
by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln.
Cape, 445 pp., £8.95, January 1982, 0 224 01735 7
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The Foreigner: A Search for the First-Century Jesus 
by Desmond Stewart.
Hamish Hamilton, 181 pp., £9.95, October 1981, 0 241 10686 9
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Satan: The Early Christian Tradition 
by Jeffrey Burton Russell.
Cornell, 258 pp., £14, November 1981, 0 8014 1267 6
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... it as a body with connections in influential quarters: the names mentioned include de Gaulle, André Malraux and Archbishop Lefebvre, while Claude Debussy was one of the Grand Masters. According to one of the documents recently released, the declared objective of the Prieuré is the restoration of the Merovingian dynasty to the thrones of ...

Don’t Move

Jeremy Noel-Tod: Fictional re-creations of Vermeer, 9 August 2001

Girl with a Pearl Earring 
by Tracy Chevalier.
HarperCollins, 248 pp., £5.99, July 2000, 0 00 651320 4
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Girl in Hyacinth Blue 
by Susan Vreeland.
Review, 242 pp., £6.99, May 2001, 9780747266594
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A View of Delft: Vermeer Then and Now 
by Anthony Bailey.
Chatto, 288 pp., £16.99, April 2001, 0 7011 6913 3
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Vermeer's Camera 
by Philip Steadman.
Oxford, 207 pp., £17.99, February 2001, 0 19 215967 4
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... dogs. The richly coloured solitude of Vermeer’s interiors (and two exteriors) – described by André Malraux as the work of an artist ‘tiring of the anecdote’ and rejecting ‘the myth of narrative action’ – were more to the taste of the novelists who came later, shifting the emphasis of their art from the history of a social group to the ...

Most people think birds just go pi-pi-pi

James Fletcher, 4 April 1996

The Messiaen Companion 
edited by Peter Hill.
Faber, 581 pp., £40, March 1995, 0 571 17033 1
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Olivier Messiaen: Music and Colour. Conversations with Claude Samuel 
translated by Thomas Glasow.
Amadeus, 296 pp., $29.95, May 1994, 0 931340 67 5
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... a valid criticism. Messiaen’s serenity can seem exasperating. ‘Death?’ he replied when André Malraux, as Minister of Cultural Affairs, asked him to consider composing a requiem for the dead of two world wars, ‘that exists, but I myself emphasise the Resurrection.’ And, talking to Claude Samuel about Japan: ‘Above all, it’s a country ...

How do you see Susan?

Mary Beard: No Asp for Zenobia, 20 March 2003

Cleopatra: Beyond the Myth 
by Michel Chauveau, translated by David Lorton.
Cornell, 104 pp., £14.95, April 2002, 0 8014 3867 5
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The Roman Mistress: Ancient and Modern Representations 
by Maria Wyke.
Oxford, 452 pp., £40, March 2002, 9780198150756
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... optimistically identifies as ‘Cleopatra suckling Caesarion’. But by and large Cleopatra is, as André Malraux once put it, ‘a queen without a face’, drawing the contrast with the much illustrated but mysterious Nefertiti, ‘a face without a queen’. After Cleopatra’s death in 30 BC, the quantity of material – mostly from Rome itself ...

At the Fondation Louis Vuitton

Julian Barnes: The Shchukin Collection , 19 January 2017

... and inward-looking in its collecting habits. In the mid-1960s, cultural diplomacy instigated by André Malraux, then the French minister of culture, brought some of the pictures back to Paris and Bordeaux. Now the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris is showing The Shchukin Collection: Icons of Modern Art until 20 February. This ‘top, top’ selection of ...
... tell anybody. In some mysterious way he did go bankrupt, and what was left of him was taken by André Deutsch, including me. So in 1955 I was working for André Deutsch. I was there for four years, and I sat in a cupboard and read books for them. I was paid very, very little – even for those days. The idea of reading ...

Homage to André Friedmann

Peter Campbell, 7 November 1985

Robert Capa 
by Richard Whelan.
Faber, 315 pp., £15, October 1985, 0 571 13661 3
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Robert Capa: Photographs 
edited by Cornell Capa and Richard Whelan.
Faber, 242 pp., £15, October 1985, 0 571 13660 5
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... report claimed, crossed the Segre with the troops at night (he was at a party with Hemingway and Malraux in Barcelona) but arrived at the front the next day. All this does not seriously undermine Capa’s reputation as a war correspondent: many of his pictures could only have been taken by someone in at least as much danger as the people he photographed, and ...

Into the Net

Neal Ascherson: Records of the Spanish Civil War, 15 December 2016

Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-39 
by Adam Hochschild.
Macmillan, 438 pp., £25, April 2016, 978 1 5098 1054 3
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¡No Pasarán! Writings from the Spanish Civil War 
edited by Pete Ayrton.
Serpent’s Tail, 393 pp., £20, April 2016, 978 1 84668 997 0
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The Last Days of the Spanish Republic 
by Paul Preston.
William Collins, 390 pp., £25, February 2016, 978 0 00 816340 2
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A Distant Heartbeat: A War, a Disappearance and a Family’s Secrets 
by Eunice Lipton.
New Mexico, 165 pp., £18.50, April 2016, 978 0 8263 5658 1
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... intellectual distinctionof some famous Brigadiers from elsewhere: Julian Bell, John Cornford or André Malraux. But their motives for fighting were large – larger than Spain. As one old volunteer told Hochschild, ‘For us it wasn’t Franco … it was always Hitler.’ Before the populations of the democracies woke up to what was at stake, these few ...

Soul Bellow

Craig Raine, 12 November 1987

More die of heartbreak 
by Saul Bellow.
Alison Press/Secker, 335 pp., £10.95, October 1987, 0 436 03962 1
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... sex, some Kissinger for savvy, Cary Grant for looks, Jack Nicholson for entertainment, plus André Malraux or some Jew for brains. Commonest fantasy there is.’ So common, in fact, that it has already been given an outing in Mr Sammler’s Planet: ‘he fetched back, for example, a statement by Angela Gruner, blurted out after several drinks when ...

When the beam of light has gone

Peter Wollen: Godard Turns Over, 17 September 1998

The Films of Jean-Luc Godard 
by Wheeler Winston Dixon.
SUNY, 290 pp., £17.99, March 1997, 0 7914 3285 8
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Speaking about Godard 
by Kaja Silverman and Harun Farocki.
New York, 256 pp., $55, July 1998, 0 8147 8066 0
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... to be played by art – an idea which came from such early intellectual mentors as Elie Faure and André Malraux. From the beginning, Godard had shown a profound and yet paradoxical attachment to the traditions of European art, both as a heritage of great works and as an anarchic project which inevitably threatens every kind of tradition and norm. (All ...

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