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Iain Sinclair: In Guy Vaes’s Footsteps, 21 May 2020

... by mad Scientologists – were about getting out of the place, slipstreaming the wake of Van Gogh, Rimbaud and W.G. Sebald.Close to my temporary perch in the respectably decadent afternoon hotel which seemed to be favoured by poets and covert couples, some of whom would slide through the door behind the bar, was the church of Notre-Dame du Finistère, which ...

Oui Oyi Awè Jo Ja Oua

Michael Sheringham: The French Provinces, 31 July 2008

The Discovery of France 
by Graham Robb.
Picador, 454 pp., £9.99, July 2008, 978 0 330 42761 6
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... of illusions or prejudices for another. Robb, who has written fine biographies of Balzac, Hugo and Rimbaud, is most at home in the 19th century, but he doesn’t subscribe to that century’s certainties about progress, or to the Paris-centred vision of those who, like Baudelaire, opposed the period’s shibboleths. At times, The Discovery of France resembles ...

Female Relationships

Stephen Bann, 1 July 1982

When things of the spirit come first 
by Simone de Beauvoir, translated by Patrick O’Brian.
Deutsch, 212 pp., £6.95, July 1982, 0 233 97462 8
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Union Street 
by Pat Barker.
Virago, 266 pp., £6.95, May 1982, 9780860682820
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Lady Oracle 
by Margaret Atwood.
Virago, 346 pp., £3.50, June 1982, 0 86068 303 6
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Bodily Harm 
by Margaret Atwood.
Cape, 302 pp., £7.50, June 1982, 0 224 02016 1
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Hearts: A Novel 
by Hilma Wolitzer.
Harvester, 324 pp., £6.95, June 1982, 9780710804754
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by Amanda Hemingway.
Faber, 236 pp., £7.95, June 1982, 0 571 11875 5
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December Flower 
by Judy Allen.
Duckworth, 176 pp., £7.95, May 1982, 0 7156 1644 7
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... however tense their temporary engagements with such figures as Denis, the layabout disciple of Rimbaud, Pascal, the uncommitted archaeologist, and Marie-Ange, the crypto-lesbian theosophist. Only in ‘Chantal’ does the technical range expand, allowing a rich and piquant contrast to emerge between the flowery journal entries of the newly-arrived teacher ...
... my reputation as an apologist but also because in conversation I’d once casually referred to Rimbaud as a ‘gay poet’, which had profoundly shocked my editor. Whereas I can understand the French reluctance to quarantine literature – a position I sympathise with in some ways on certain days – I can’t tolerate the reflex that bans all references ...


Tony Harrison, 24 January 1985

... still reads the dictionary every day. He says your life depends on your power to master words. Arthur Scargill, Sunday Times, 10 January 1982 Next millennium you’ll have to search quite hard to find my slab behind the family dead, butcher, publican, and baker, now me, bard adding poetry to their beef, beer and bread. With Byron three graves on I’ll ...


Frank Kermode, 22 May 1986

Pound, Yeats, Eliot and the Modernist Movement 
by C.K. Stead.
Macmillan, 393 pp., £27.50, March 1986, 0 333 37457 6
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The Myth of Modernism and 20th-century Literature 
by Bernard Bergonzi.
Harvester, 216 pp., £25, January 1986, 0 7108 1002 4
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The Innocent Eye: On Modern Literature and the Arts 
by Roger Shattuck.
Faber, 362 pp., £15, March 1986, 0 571 12071 7
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... modernities, even when the demand for the New is most strident, as, for instance, in Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Kandinsky. However, it is now taken for granted in some circles that there was something qualitatively different about our modernity; that there was a decisive coupure around 1870 (the date varies), or that a wholly original understanding of linguistic ...

How the sanity of poets can be edited away

Arnold Rattenbury: The Sanity of Ivor Gurney, 14 October 1999

‘Severn and Somme’ and ‘War’s Embers’ 
by Ivor Gurney, edited by R.K.R. Thornton.
Carcanet, 152 pp., £7.95, September 1997, 1 85754 348 3
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80 Poems or So 
by Ivor Gurney, edited by George Walter and R.K.R. Thornton.
Carcanet, 148 pp., £9.95, January 1997, 1 85754 344 0
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... there after demobilisation, in 1919, to resume his part in a quartet of friendship with Howells, Arthur Benjamin and Arthur Bliss. His siblings had also to contend with his burgeoning fame, which they did not understand: two published volumes of poetry (1917 and 1919); much performance and publication of music ...


David Craig, 6 July 1989

A Search for Scotland 
by R.F. Mackenzie.
Collins, 280 pp., £16.95, May 1989, 0 00 215185 5
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A Claim of Right for Scotland 
edited by Owen Dudley Edwards.
Polygon, 202 pp., £14.95, May 1989, 0 7486 6022 4
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The Eclipse of Scottish Culture 
by Craig Beveridge and Ronald Turnbull.
Polygon, 121 pp., £6.95, May 1989, 0 7486 6000 3
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The Bird Path: Collected Longer Poems 
by Kenneth White.
Mainstream, 239 pp., £12.95, May 1989, 1 85158 245 2
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Travels in the Drifting Dawn 
by Kenneth White.
Mainstream, 160 pp., £12.95, May 1989, 1 85158 240 1
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... move up a class was tested by their ability to swim the Avon fully clothed, write a critique of an Arthur Ransome book, climb the Tracker Tree, or spend a night alone in the woods and write about the experience. Classes were voluntary: a young radio buff who had chosen not to learn arithmetic finally begged the music master to teach him long division so that ...


Iain Sinclair, 6 June 1996

... wore suits and ties. I’d read the free-wheeling interviews in fugitive magazines, such as Arthur and Kit Knight’s The Beat Diary. I’d clocked Corso, along with the other survivors, on the conference circuit. Bearded, lived-in faces confronted by batteries of microphones – as if on trial, undergoing public McCarthyite ...

Everybody’s Joan

Marina Warner, 6 December 2012

... flow of books, films and other media. When Dreyer made his extraordinary film in 1928, and Arthur Honegger and Paul Claudel composed the oratorio Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher ten years later, both were working in the light of modern wars and prejudice. And their works are prophetic: the civil war in 15th-century France presages the treacheries both of the ...

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