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Neal Ascherson: Scotophobia, 5 April 2007

... to an almost impregnable domination of English politics. In Monty Python and the Holy Grail King Arthur rides up to a muddy peasant and announces: ‘I am Arthur, king of the Britons.’ ‘King of the who? . . . Who are the Britons?’ The king answers rather uncertainly: ‘We are all Britons!’ Well, perhaps we are ...

Fiction and E.M. Forster

Frank Kermode: At the Cost of Life, 10 May 2007

... had her set of girls for six years, since they were ten. On p. 13 we learn that one of them, Mary MacGregor, is stupid; on p. 15 she dies in a hotel fire at the age of 24, date presumably 1944, courtesy of a wanton prolepsis. Mary’s death is again displaced when her future fate, already known to us, is prefigured by the account of her terror of fire in the ...

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