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Updating Freud

Mary Midgley, 16 September 1982

Narcissus and Oedipus: The Children of Psychoanalysis 
by Victoria Hamilton.
Routledge, 284 pp., £12.50, April 1982, 0 7100 0869 4
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Archetype: A Natural History of the Self 
by Anthony Stevens.
Routledge, 295 pp., £12.50, April 1982, 0 7100 0980 1
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Freud on Femininity and Faith 
by Judith van Herik.
California, 216 pp., £17.50, June 1982, 0 520 04368 5
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... naturally looked at the Freudian one, which still usually struck him as too narrow. It is so. As Anthony Stevens puts it, ‘the fundamentally reductive approach which characterised the Freudian attitude to the phenomena of life – what Jung lampooned as the “nothing but” approach ... helped to spread the disenchantment endemic to our culture ...

In Service

Anthony Thwaite, 18 May 1989

The Remains of the Day 
by Kazuo Ishiguro.
Faber, 245 pp., £10.99, May 1989, 0 571 15310 0
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I served the King of England 
by Bohumil Hrabal, translated by Paul Wilson.
Chatto, 243 pp., £12.95, May 1989, 0 7011 3462 3
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Beautiful Mutants 
by Deborah Levy.
Cape, 90 pp., £9.95, May 1989, 0 224 02651 8
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When the monster dies 
by Kate Pullinger.
Cape, 173 pp., £10.95, May 1989, 9780224026338
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The Colour of Memory 
by Geoff Dyer.
Cape, 228 pp., £11.95, May 1989, 0 224 02585 6
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Sexual Intercourse 
by Rose Boyt.
Cape, 160 pp., £10.95, May 1989, 0 224 02666 6
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The Children’s Crusade 
by Rebecca Brown.
Picador, 121 pp., £10.95, March 1989, 0 330 30529 8
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... likely to be, as The armies waited for a verbal error With all the instruments for causing pain. Stevens, the elderly butler in Kazuo Ishiguro’s third novel, The Remains of the Day, would never be so vulgar as to price anyone’s shoes, but much of his earlier life was discreetly spent in the presence of substantial men exchanging views, at a time ...

The Devilish God

David Wheatley: T.S. Eliot, 1 November 2001

Words Alone: The Poet T.S. Eliot 
by Denis Donoghue.
Yale, 326 pp., £17.95, January 2001, 0 300 08329 7
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Adam’s Curse: Reflections on Religion and Literature 
by Denis Donoghue.
Notre Dame, 178 pp., £21.50, May 2001, 0 268 02009 4
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... of Eliot’s Christianity, such as Harold Bloom and Helen Vendler, much prefer Yeats and Stevens. And as a glance at any anthology of 20th-century British poetry will show, the prewar voices most audible today belong to Auden and MacNeice. From the maudlin Tom and Viv to Peter Ackroyd’s unauthorised Life and Carole Seymour-Jones’s Painted ...

Foreigners

Denis Donoghue, 21 June 1984

Selected Essays 
by John Bayley.
Cambridge, 217 pp., £19.50, March 1984, 0 521 25828 6
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Collected Poems: 1941-1983 
by Michael Hamburger.
Carcanet, 383 pp., £12.95, March 1984, 9780856354977
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Poems: 1953-1983 
by Anthony Thwaite.
Secker, 201 pp., £8.95, April 1984, 0 436 52151 2
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... One of Anthony Thwaite’s poems, ‘Tell it slant’, swerves from Emily Dickinson’s line ‘Tell all the Truth but tell it slant’ to settle upon an aesthetic procedure she would have been too nervous to enunciate: Truth is partial. Name the parts But leave the outline vague and blurred. Dickinson thought the truth should dazzle gradually, and that the best ploy was ‘circuit ...

Monopoly Mule

Anthony Howard, 25 January 1996

Plant Here the ‘Standard’ 
by Dennis Griffiths.
Macmillan, 417 pp., £35, November 1995, 0 333 55565 1
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... a predecessor. Nevertheless, to speak of the present Lord Rothermere – or, worse, of Sir Jocelyn Stevens or the late Lord (‘Whelks’) Matthews – in the same tone of voice as Beaverbrook is a substantial affront to natural justice. Fortunately, Griffiths is more generous to the other main agent in the building up of the modern Evening Standard. Charles ...

Belfryful of Bells

Theo Tait: John Banville, 19 November 2015

The Blue Guitar 
by John Banville.
Viking, 250 pp., £14.99, September 2015, 978 0 241 00432 6
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... impressive ones. The original, and surely the best, is The Untouchable (1997): his reworking of Anthony Blunt’s life, by way of Louis MacNeice, which stands out among the vast literature inspired by the Cambridge spies. Ten years ago he published The Sea, a sometimes mesmerising novel that won the Booker Prize. Some found it mannered, chilly and ...

Inside Out

John Bayley, 4 September 1980

The Collected Ewart 1933-1980 
by Gavin Ewart.
Hutchinson, 412 pp., £10, June 1980, 0 09 141000 2
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Selected Poems and Prose 
by Michael Roberts, edited by Frederick Grubb.
Carcanet, 205 pp., £7.95, June 1980, 0 85635 263 2
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... New Review, and the poem shows, with the kind of grim undemonstrative intelligence the novels of Anthony Powell know well how to reveal in horsey men, military men or men in bars (one of his characters called Odo Stevens writes Ewart-type poems), just how much Ewart as a poet owes to his attitude to other poets. I always ...

Erasures

Mark Ford: Donald Justice, 16 November 2006

Collected Poems 
by Donald Justice.
Anvil, 289 pp., £15, June 2006, 0 85646 386 8
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... little of the ostentatious virtuosity of better-known formalists such as Richard Wilbur and Anthony Hecht, with whom he is so often, and rather unfortunately, grouped. Rather, Justice’s poems delicately induce the hypnotic state that Bishop described as her artistic ideal in a letter to Anne Stevenson: ‘What one seems to want in art, in experiencing ...

Short Cuts

Frederick Wilmot-Smith: RBG's Big Mistake, 8 October 2020

... gambit paid off. Trump filled Scalia’s seat with Justice Neil Gorsuch. Soon after, Justice Anthony Kennedy retired. At 81, Kennedy was older than a Supreme Court judge should be; but he wasn’t ill (and is still alive). Nevertheless, he decided that President Trump and the Republican Senate were the ones he wanted to nominate and confirm his ...

On Douglas Crase

Matthew Bevis, 5 December 2019

... in 1981. James Merrill, John Hollander and John Ashbery spoke in similarly emphatic terms, while Anthony Hecht saluted an ‘extraordinarily fine’ debut and Harold Bloom hailed the arrival of a great original. ‘I think I speak for many,’ David Kalstone wrote, ‘in saying it appeared with that sense of completeness of utterance and identity that must ...
... thing, with a ghastly woodcut on it. Nobody knew how this woodcut got on it. There was a piece by Anthony Powell called ‘A Reference for Mellors’, which was about somebody coming to Lady Chatterley for a reference for a gamekeeper. The magazine sort of launched me on a career, because Alan Pryce-Jones, who was then the editor of the TLS, gave me a lot of ...

Diary

Zachary Leader: Oscar Talk at the Huntington, 16 April 1998

... to read the letters (or many of them) that Amis received: several hundred from Robert Conquest, Anthony Powell, John Betjeman, Philip Larkin and others. These letters help supply the answers to niggling editorial puzzles: for example, the identity of ‘Bluebell’ (Conquest’s dog), or ‘engine driver Hunt’, from a passage in a letter reading ...

Trashing the Supreme Court

Ronald Dworkin, 19 June 1980

The Bretheren: Inside the Supreme Court 
by Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong.
Secker, 467 pp., £7.95, March 1980, 0 436 58122 1
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... whether or not he joined a discussion about whether the Chief Justice was evil or stupid. But Anthony Lewis, writing in the New York Review of Books, said that his own research cast great doubt on some of the most sensational ‘disclosures’ of the book. (Woodward and Armstrong have now replied to Lewis, but his research seems more careful than ...

Travelling Text

Marina Warner: ‘The Arabian Nights’, 18 December 2008

The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1001 Nights 
translated by Malcolm Lyons, with Ursula Lyons.
Penguin, 2715 pp., £125, November 2008, 978 0 14 091166 4
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‘The Arabian Nights’ in Historical Context: Between East and West 
edited by Saree Makdisi and Felicity Nussbaum.
Oxford, 337 pp., £55, November 2008, 978 0 19 955415 7
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... within a single individual’s response, both attracts readers to the stories and repels them. Anthony Hamilton, an urbane Jacobite aristocrat and soldier, living in Paris in exile at the court of James II, and a much petted cavaliere servente of the court ladies, read Galland’s translation straight off the press before writing a parody, ‘Fleur ...

The Impermanence of Importance

David Runciman: Obama, 2 August 2018

The World as It Is: Inside the Obama White House 
by Ben Rhodes.
Bodley Head, 450 pp., £20, June 2018, 978 1 84792 517 6
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... Before​ Brexit, it was another B-word that signalled the dangers to come: Benghazi. After Chris Stevens, the US ambassador, was killed there in 2012 during an attack on the American compound, Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state, bore the brunt of Republican fury for what they saw as a cover-up of the truth. It became a matter of faith for many ...

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