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Nothing for Ever and Ever

Frank Kermode: Housman’s Pleasures, 5 July 2007

The Letters of A.E. Housman 
edited by Archie Burnett.
Oxford, 1228 pp., £180, March 2007, 978 0 19 818496 6
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... poems that challenge you not to laugh. ‘Light Verse and Juvenilia’ occupy a hundred pages of Archie Burnett’s Oxford edition of the poems. Being exceptionally susceptible to poetry, Housman could laugh at it. This balances his tendency, confessed in the Leslie Stephen Lecture, to cry at it. We are told by someone who was present on an occasion ...

Long Runs

Adam Phillips: A.E. Housman, 18 June 1998

The Poems of A.E. Housman 
edited by Archie Burnett.
Oxford, 580 pp., £80, December 1997, 0 19 812322 1
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The Invention of Love 
by Tom Stoppard.
Faber, 106 pp., £6.99, October 1997, 0 571 19271 8
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... classical texts. Having lost his faith at 13 – though never his interest in the Bible, as Archie Burnett’s commentary on the poems in this wonderful edition makes very clear – he discovered a vocation for accuracy. Housman didn’t think of scholarship as merely a refuge from passion: on the rare occasions when he wrote or lectured about such ...

I gotta use words

Mark Ford: Eliot speaks in tongues, 10 August 2016

The Poems of T.S. Eliot: Volume I: Collected & Uncollected Poems 
edited by Christopher Ricks and Jim McCue.
Faber, 1311 pp., £40, November 2015, 978 0 571 23870 5
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The Poems of T.S. Eliot: Volume II: Practical Cats & Further Verses 
edited by Christopher Ricks and Jim McCue.
Faber, 667 pp., £40, November 2015, 978 0 571 23371 7
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... tables’), William James, James Thomson, William Acton, Charles-Louis Philippe, W.R. Burnett (a crime novelist in whose High Sierra – published in 1940 – the phrase ‘She was … a one-night-stand type’ occurs), Edward Winslow Martin (author of The Secrets of the Great City, 1868, which mentions ‘cheap hotels’), the London ...

Why aren’t they screaming?

Helen Vendler: Philip Larkin, 6 November 2014

Philip Larkin: Life, Art and Love 
by James Booth.
Bloomsbury, 532 pp., £25, August 2014, 978 1 4088 5166 1
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... a new biography would be written. And in 2012 The Complete Poems – a richly annotated edition by Archie Burnett – was published, supplementing the additional information about Larkin’s life with a careful annotation of the poems, not only establishing dates but drawing attention to parallel passages in the prose and letters. (The arguments about ...

Her Body or the Sea

Ian Patterson: Ann Quin, 21 June 2018

The Unmapped Country: Stories and Fragments 
by Ann Quin.
And Other Stories, 192 pp., £10, January 2018, 978 1 911508 14 4
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... music-hall tradition, its overdetermined atmosphere of seedy blowsiness is vaguely reminiscent of Archie Rice in Tony Richardson’s film of The Entertainer as well as early Graham Greene. The style is distinctive in the way it wanders in and out of interiority, with private thought and public speech undifferentiated by punctuation or mise-en-page. The ...

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