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Peter Lamarque, 15 September 1983

The Critical Historians of Art 
by Michael Podro.
Yale, 257 pp., £15, November 1982, 0 300 02862 8
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A World History of Art 
by Hugh Honour and John Fleming.
Macmillan, 639 pp., £17.50, September 1982, 0 333 23583 5
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The Test of Time: An Essay in Philosophical Aesthetics 
by Anthony Savile.
Oxford, 319 pp., £20, July 1982, 0 19 824590 4
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... even aestheticians, will often shy away from confronting questions of aesthetic evaluation. Not so Anthony Savile, who in The Test of Time offers a full-scale investigation of the matter, unashamedly, and unfashionably, bringing to the fore such notions as depth and beauty and artistic stature. The aim of this thoughtful book is to analyse and to ...

Art’s Infancy

Arthur C. Danto, 22 April 1993

The Mind and its Depths 
by Richard Wollheim.
Harvard, 214 pp., £19.95, March 1993, 9780674576117
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Psychoanalysis, Mind and Art: Perspectives on Richard Wollheim 
edited by Jim Hopkins and Anthony Savile.
Blackwell, 383 pp., £40, October 1992, 0 631 17571 7
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... I have always thought of Richard Wollheim as embodying the values and interests of a particularly urbane kind of British intellectual, typified by and possibly originating with the members of the Bloomsbury Circle. It encompasses a serious interest in the arts and especially the art of painting; a dedication to some version of socialist politics; a faith in psychoanalysis as therapy and as a theory of the mind; a commitment to articulate an aesthetic philosophy and in some measure to attempt to live by it; a determination to enhance one’s prose with a certain literary surface; and a profound concern for friendship and the life of the heart ...

Light Entertainment

Andrew O’Hagan: Our Paedophile Culture, 8 November 2012

... theme, boys, children, whatever, and in 1946 Methuen published a book written by Gamlin and Anthony Gilbert called Don’t Be Afreud! A Short Guide to Youth Control (The Book of the Weak). The book is just about as funny as it wants to be, with author photographs (‘aged 7 and 8 approx’) and a caption: ‘The authors on their way to the ...

Keep yr gob shut

Christopher Tayler: Larkin v. Amis, 20 December 2012

The Odd Couple: The Curious Friendship between Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin 
by Richard Bradford.
Robson, 373 pp., £20, November 2012, 978 1 84954 375 0
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... stuff preserved by ambiguous clauses in his will, stuff let loose on the nation first in 1988 via Anthony Thwaite’s edition of the poems and then in Thwaite’s Selected Letters of Philip Larkin (1992) and Andrew Motion’s Philip Larkin: A Writer’s Life (1993). In Larkin’s best poems ‘minginess of spirit’ – J.M. Coetzee’s phrase from another ...

Four Moptop Yobbos

Ian Penman, 17 June 2021

One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time 
by Craig Brown.
Fourth Estate, 642 pp., £9.99, March, 978 0 00 834003 2
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The Beatles and Sixties Britain 
by Marcus Collins.
Cambridge, 382 pp., £90, March 2020, 978 1 108 47724 6
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The Beatles in Context 
edited by Kenneth Womack.
Cambridge, 372 pp., £74.99, January 2020, 978 1 108 41911 6
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... ends up producing a fable very much in their own image.In​ June 1961, the Mancunian polymath Anthony Burgess and his first wife, Lynne, took a holiday in the USSR. In Cold War Leningrad there were echoes for Burgess of his backstreet Manchester childhood. The music of accents: voices that were exotic yet strangely familiar, a chorus of hard-tongued ...

It’s me, it’s me, it’s me

David Thomson: The Keynotes of Cary Grant, 5 November 2020

Cary Grant: The Making of a Hollywood Legend 
by Mark Glancy.
Oxford, 550 pp., £22.99, October, 978 0 19 005313 0
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Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise 
by Scott Eyman.
Simon and Schuster, 556 pp., £27.10, November, 978 1 5011 9211 1
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... uncertainty seemed elemental, and he was more absorbing than Famous Actors like Olivier, Brando or Anthony Quinn. But there hasn’t been a book, a Life to hold on to, a place to bring questions – and worries. Now, all at once, there are two of them, and I must warn you, you need both.There have been books before, some of them opportunist, some earnest and ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 2012, 3 January 2013

... on to what we then called secondary school.As it was put together, the programme tended to confirm Anthony Powell’s thesis that documentaries aren’t based on the evidence but are simply scenarios dreamed up by the director with the facts arranged accordingly.I’ve never been particularly concerned about the end of the grammar schools, seeing it as nothing ...


Andrew O’Hagan: Julian Assange, 6 March 2014

... the other aqua. I told Julian that Boateng was the famous black British suit-maker of Savile Row. ‘That’s great,’ he said. ‘It fits the blacksploitation theme I’m hoping for with the film of my life. I want Morgan Freeman to play me.’ He began stripping off and I saw he had a pair of Tesco’s trackie bottoms under his old suit. He ...

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