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Anne Rouse, 8 February 1990

... We’d left the cameras in the Hertz But made St P.’s for the tourist Passion. I knew one of the trio: permapressed, a little weary This is what he did on his vacations. A few bearded heads bled from the corbels. We walked by the pleated steps of a temple In whose maw someone was being tried with flame. We took in the long galleria before lunch. Sloan made some remark about art being vox populi ...

Two Poems

Anne Rouse, 14 September 1989

... Christmas Break We’ve floored it from London. The bridge winches up; the moat bares To green algae silk, kitchen relics, The bones of suicides. The snow, fine as bride’s Fine lace, stacks up its trousseau: A terrain in bedsheets, smoothed from memory. The town’s dead as midnight. Rushing the houses of the estate, The wind skims the roof Like a bruising hand ...


James Wood, 5 August 1993

The New Poetry 
edited by Michael Hulse, David Kennedy and David Morley.
Bloodaxe, 352 pp., £25, May 1993, 1 85224 244 2
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Who Whispered Near Me 
by Killarney Clary.
Bloodaxe, 64 pp., £5.95, February 1993, 1 85224 149 7
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Sunset Grill 
by Anne Rouse.
Bloodaxe, 64 pp., £5.95, March 1993, 1 85224 219 1
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Half Moon Bay 
by Paul Mills.
Carcanet, 95 pp., £6.95, February 1993, 9781857540000
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by Harry Smart.
Faber, 74 pp., £5.99, April 1993, 0 571 16793 4
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The Autonomous Region 
by Kathleen Jamie.
Bloodaxe, 79 pp., £7.95, March 1993, 9781852241735
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Collected Poems 
by F.T. Prince.
Carcanet, 319 pp., £25, March 1993, 1 85754 030 1
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Stirring Stuff 
by Selwyn Pritchard.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 145 pp., £8.99, April 1993, 9781856193085
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News from the Brighton Front 
by Nicki Jackowska.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 86 pp., £7.99, April 1993, 1 85619 306 3
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Translations from the Natural World 
by Les Murray.
Carcanet, 67 pp., £6.95, March 1993, 1 85754 005 0
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... informality of ‘almost’ seeks to modify and excuse the sentimental literariness of the rest. Anne Rouse, another young American with a first book, is in every way a better writer than Clary. She is civil and efficient and the only problem with her writing is that it resembles the civil efficiencies of a thousand others. Killarney Clary forgets too ...

Nothing could have been odder or more prophetic

Gillian Darley: Ruins, 29 November 2001

In Ruins 
by Christopher Woodward.
Chatto, 280 pp., £12.99, September 2001, 9780701168964
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... young man Shelley incarcerated himself overnight in the vaults of the local church, in order to rouse his instinct for terror to the right pitch. He wanted to be ‘harrowed by fear’. Woodward, an unashamed romantic of the same school, has similarly set himself the object of looking into the ‘feelings of pleasure and fear which ruins suggest’. The ...


Joanna Biggs: Keith Gessen, 22 May 2008

All the Sad Young Literary Men 
by Keith Gessen.
Heinemann, 242 pp., £11.99, May 2008, 978 0 434 01848 2
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... even if Sam has only left the US because of a girl. It is a relief to be in a place that might rouse this profoundly undramatic novel, and perhaps it is not coincidental that Sam’s few weeks in the Middle East produce some of the novel’s best writing. Sam is in the West Bank with a Swedish-led human rights group, which sends him to stay with Akhmed, a ...

Praise for the Hands

Jeremy Harding: Rugby’s Early Years, 18 October 2007

The Original Rules of Rugby 
edited by Jed Smith.
Bodleian, 64 pp., £5.99, September 2007, 978 1 85124 371 6
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... always obvious. In A History of Rugby School, published in 1898, the classical scholar W.H.D. Rouse tells of a housemaster weeping over the injuries of the players after prolonged bouts of hacking. Aside from this fortifying practice, which took place in head-on confrontations, mostly in vast scrums involving scores of upright players, there was a deadly ...

Why do I have to know what McDonald’s is?

Patricia Lockwood: Rachel Cusk takes off, 10 May 2018

by Rachel Cusk.
Faber, 249 pp., £8.99, May 2018, 978 0 571 34676 9
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by Rachel Cusk.
Faber, 260 pp., £8.99, May 2018, 978 0 571 34674 5
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by Rachel Cusk.
Faber, 232 pp., £16.99, May 2018, 978 0 571 34664 6
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... of her forehead, with a smile somewhat like Edna O’Brien’s – another writer who seemed to rouse hatred for her disarranged hair as much as for her books, another writer who went to convent school. This is the sort of education that can unfit you afterwards for normal conversation, that can make the suburbs seem beyond your power of understanding as ...


Dan Jacobson, 17 February 1983

... Everything was beyond me: control, escape, comprehension. Nevertheless, when my wife did finally rouse a doctor from his bed to come to mine, towards dawn, I felt a kind of perverse relief at seeing how alarmed he was by my condition. At least I wasn’t making a fuss about nothing! The ambulance he summoned came after a brief delay. Wrapped in the ...

In the Egosphere

Adam Mars-Jones: The Plot against Roth, 23 January 2014

Roth Unbound: A Writer and His Books 
by Claudia Roth Pierpont.
Cape, 353 pp., £25, January 2014, 978 0 224 09903 5
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... hour’ of his time. In a postscript the judge recommends the Broadway production of The Diary of Anne Frank. Question 1 is: ‘If you had been living in Nazi Germany in the 1930s, would you have written such a story?’ Question 6 is: ‘What set of aesthetic values makes you think that the cheap is more valid than the noble and the slimy is more truthful ...
Secret Affairs: Franklin Roosevelt, Cordell Hull and Sumner Welles 
by Irwin Gellman.
Johns Hopkins, 499 pp., $29.95, April 1995, 0 8018 5083 5
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Closest Companion: The Unknown Story of the Intimate Friendship between Franklin Roosevelt and Margaret Suckley 
edited by Geoffrey Ward.
Houghton Mifflin, 444 pp., $24.95, April 1995, 0 395 66080 7
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No Ordinary Time. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War Two 
by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Simon and Schuster, 759 pp., £18, June 1995, 0 671 64240 5
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The End of Reform 
by Alan Brinkley.
Knopf, 371 pp., $27.50, March 1995, 0 394 53573 1
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... Long), the result – inaction and indifference – was the same. (When Eleanor tried to rouse Franklin to the plight of Europe’s Jews, Welles told him to talk to Long.) By the same token, Roosevelt acceded at Yalta to Stalin’s demand for Soviet hegemony in Poland because of the disposition of allied troops in Europe and the desire to get the ...

Women beware men

Margaret Anne Doody, 23 July 1992

Backlash: The Undeclared War against Women 
by Susan Faludi.
Chatto, 592 pp., £9.99, March 1992, 0 7011 4643 5
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The War against Women 
by Marilyn French.
Hamish Hamilton, 229 pp., £9.99, March 1992, 0 241 13271 1
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... body represented in that pseudo-image of Fergie – what does it mean? Why does the woman’s body rouse so much hostility? Of course, the woman’s body doesn’t ‘do’ anything of the sort. Why do men feel such unreasonable rage against women? Why do they knock them about, legislate against them, imprison them in purdah, caricature them, stick them in ...


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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... of sociology, and drama favours a stage without too much human clutter. Veronica, the narrator of Anne Enright’s The Gathering, somewhere in the middle of a tribe of 12 (seventh from the top, fifth from the bottom), suggests there’s a certain uniformity about the large family: ‘There is always a drunk. There is always someone who has been interfered ...

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