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Greatest Happiness

Brian Barry, 19 January 1984

The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell. Vol. I: Cambridge Essays 1888-1899 
edited by Kenneth Blackwell, Andrew Brink, Nicholas Griffin, Richard Rempel and John Slater.
Allen and Unwin, 554 pp., £48, November 1983, 0 04 920067 4
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... There shall be a day when a shorthand citation like “McMaster 8:279” will be sufficient affidavit for the scholar of the authenticity and location of any quotation of Russell’s written word.’ With this ringing prophecy, William Ready, the General Editor of the McMaster University Library Press and the man who brought the Russell archives to McMaster in 1968, introduced a prospectus of The Collected Essays of Bertrand Russell in Russell, the journal of the Bertrand Russell Archives ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Moonlight’, 16 February 2017

directed by Barry Jenkins.
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... him. He won’t tell them his name or where he lives, and they put him up for the night. The next day he talks a little, tells them his name is Chiron and what his mother’s address is. They take him home. Several critics have suggested that at this point we are waiting for things to go seriously wrong. Juan will abuse the child or sell him. That’s what ...

In Kent

Patrick Cockburn, 18 March 2021

... lost the mining industry and Ramsgate harbour, which was a big employer,’ the Labour councillor Barry Lewis says, lamenting the repeated blows to Margate over the past forty years. The hotel and tourism industries collapsed ‘when everybody started going abroad for their holidays’. The last big manufacturer in the area was the Pfizer plant near ...

The poet steamed

Iain Sinclair: Tom Raworth, 19 August 2004

Collected Poems 
by Tom Raworth.
Carcanet, 576 pp., £16.95, February 2003, 1 85754 624 5
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Removed for Further Study: The Poetry of Tom Raworth 
edited by Nate Dorward.
The Gig, 288 pp., £15, March 2003, 0 9685294 3 7
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... greyer than the version flourished in early snapshots – the cover of A Serial Biography, the Barry Flanagan etching from Act – but this is still the same mouth, the same disguise. The same bite. The lights are on and there is somebody at home. The speed of eye/ear/mind remains, absolutely, that of a particle accelerator. Heart is everything: the ...

Gloomy Sunday Afternoons

Caroline Maclean: Modernists at the Movies, 10 September 2009

The Tenth Muse: Writing about Cinema in the Modernist Period 
by Laura Marcus.
Oxford, 562 pp., £39, December 2007, 978 0 19 923027 3
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... help of images projected on a screen and a ‘conductor’ who would lead them back to the present day (he never actually built the machine). This was a crucial moment in the development of cinema technology, as viewing shifted from individual peepshows to collective projections. Silent films were never silent, and Marcus writes interestingly about the mixture ...

Amphibious Green

Daniel Soar: Barry McCrea, 3 November 2005

First Verse 
by Barry McCrea.
Carroll and Graf, 355 pp., £14.95, June 2005, 0 7867 1513 8
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... finger down a page and stop. Open your eyes and read what’s written. I had just finished reading Barry McCrea’s first novel and – still slightly dazed and susceptible – asked: ‘What does The First Verse mean?’ I flipped through the pages of the first book that presented itself and found my finger pointing at the following ...


D.A.N. Jones, 5 March 1987

This Small Cloud: A Personal Memoir 
by Harry Daley.
Weidenfeld, 241 pp., £12.95, February 1987, 0 297 78999 6
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... dealings with ponces and other criminals. ‘It was nice to see him get whiter and thinner every day, more ferrety-eyed through lack of sleep ... To everyone’s surprise and to my delight, he kicked the bucket ... When I am feeling low, fortunately not very often, I think that if there is such a thing as everlasting hell-fire, I hope the rotten bastard is ...

Stop the treadmill!

Barry Schwartz: Affluence and wellbeing, 8 March 2007

The Challenge of Affluence: Self-Control and Well-Being in the United States and Britain since 1950 
by Avner Offer.
Oxford, 454 pp., £30, March 2006, 0 19 820853 7
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... of speech or assembly. But even with civil rights, if you have to struggle to exhaustion every day just to meet your basic needs, freedom of speech or assembly becomes the kind of luxury you rarely get to enjoy. The view that choice is essential to collective welfare seems compelling, on account of the reasonable assumption that if some choice is good then ...


Tom Paulin: In Donegal, 8 October 1992

... a place so small it’s hard to find on any map. ‘Would Kilclooney mean church field?’ I ask Barry as we sit in the bar in the heel of the day. ‘It would, Tomás,’ he says, then instantly produces etymologies and all sorts of words in Irish – way beyond the dozen I vaguely know, and can never pronounce ...

Into the Gulf

Rosemary Hill, 17 December 1992

A Sultry Month: Scenes of London Literary Life in 1846 
by Alethea Hayter.
Robin Clark, 224 pp., £6.95, June 1992, 0 86072 146 9
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Painting and the Politics of Culture: New Essays on British Art 1700-1850 
edited by John Barrell.
Oxford, 301 pp., £35, June 1992, 9780198173922
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London: World City 1800-1840 
edited by Celina Fox.
Yale, 624 pp., £45, September 1992, 0 300 05284 7
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... building, but to see the midget, General Tom Thumb, who was being shown downstairs. On the first day Haydon attracted only four visitors. ‘I would not have believed it of the English people,’ he wrote in his journal, with that absence of insight or humour that makes him such a sad, and at the same time such a tiresome figure. That summer there was a ...

Apoplectic Gristle

David Trotter: Wyndham Lewis, 25 January 2001

Some Sort of Genius: A Life of Wyndham Lewis 
by Paul O'Keeffe.
Cape, 697 pp., £25, October 2001, 0 224 03102 3
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Wyndham Lewis: Painter and Writer 
by Paul Edwards.
Yale, 583 pp., £40, August 2000, 0 300 08209 6
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... The day he first met Wyndham Lewis, shortly after the end of the First World War, Ernest Hemingway was teaching Ezra Pound how to box. The encounter took place in Paris, where Pound had a studio, and Lewis, impassive beneath his trademark wide black hat, seemed content to watch in silence. ‘Ezra had not been boxing very long and I was embarrassed at having him work in front of anyone he knew, and I tried to make him look as good as possible,’ Hemingway wrote ...

The Real Thing!

Julian Barnes: Visions of Vice, 17 December 2015

Splendeurs et misères: Images de la prostitution 1850-1910 
Musée d’Orsay, until 17 January 2016Show More
Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun 
Grand Palais, until 11 January 2016Show More
Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 9 February 2016 to 15 May 2016Show More
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... in her mid-twenties, and dressed as if to sit for Ingres: fringed black satin on a yellow satin day bed; discreet jewellery; immaculate coiffure. But the face, of great beauty, is also of utter determination. Flaubert, a long-term friend, wrote that she had the grace of a panther. On this evidence, the ferocity of one too: there is something almost ...

Reason, Love and Life

Christopher Hill, 20 November 1980

The Letters of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester 
edited by Jeremy Treglown.
Blackwell, 275 pp., £21, September 1980, 9780631128311
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... mother, Rochester had been an undergraduate at Wadham, the most advanced Oxford college of his day. He was settling accounts with the Puritanism of the 1650s in which he grew up, and indeed with Christianity. In the conversations with Rochester which Burnet records, the poet attacked the sacred character of the Bible. He thought that all came by ...


Alex Clark: Andrew Miller, 18 October 2001

by Andrew Miller.
Sceptre, 323 pp., £14.99, September 2001, 0 340 72825 6
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... a former tennis professional of minor distinction, a TV actor recently sacked from his part as Dr Barry Catchpole in Sun Valley General, a man slithering down the ladder of celebrity into alcoholism, divorce and the humiliations of the ‘glamour industry’. In Paris, the playwright László Lázár gives a dinner party, unaware that in the darkened silences ...
High Fidelity 
by Nick Hornby.
Gollancz, 256 pp., £14.99, April 1995, 0 575 05748 3
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... to get hold of it, and he gets very nervous when we go anywhere near it.’ His other colleague, Barry, likes to stick his lips out and clench his teeth and go DA-DA, in imitation of the guitar riffs on Clash records. He otherwise spends much time talking about music, films, Terry Prat-chett ‘and anything else which features monsters, planets and so ...

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