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Paper or Plastic?

John Sutherland: Richard Powers, 10 August 2000

Gain 
by Richard Powers.
Heinemann, 355 pp., £15.99, March 2000, 0 434 00862 1
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... Luckily, as we may think, he came into the orbit of a charismatic English teacher. ‘Professor Taylor’s life-changing freshman seminar’, as he calls it in Galatea 2.2, won the young Powers for Literature. (I haven’t been able to identify who ‘Taylor’ was – he has, apparently, since died. Doubtless the ...

A Topic Best Avoided

Nicholas Guyatt: Abraham Lincoln, 1 December 2011

The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery 
by Eric Foner.
Norton, 426 pp., £21, February 2011, 978 0 393 06618 0
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... Theatre and shot him in the head. On the morning of 11 April, Lincoln met privately with General Benjamin Butler of Massachusetts. The subject of the meeting went unreported for nearly 20 years. That morning Lincoln admitted that he was ‘troubled about the negroes’ after emancipation. According to Butler, he worried that the 150,000 blacks of the Union ...

‘A Naughty House’

Charles Nicholl: Shakespeare’s Landlord, 24 June 2010

... appearance in both. On 20 November 1613, ‘Christoferus Mountioy de Silverstreet london Marchant Taylor’ pledges himself as a surety for the three accused Frenchmen. They are named as Jacobus Mullett, Abrahamus Trippie and Jacobus Depre. (The two Jacobi would, of course, be Jacques in French and James in English. Mullett is elsewhere written as ...

Bournemouth

Andrew O’Hagan: The Bournemouth Set, 21 May 2020

... so that Stevenson could sit on sunny days with a writing board perched on his knee.Sir Henry Taylor, a colonial reformer and poet-dramatist, had a villa in Bournemouth; he was 84 that year. He had an eye for talent, and had once been friends with Wordsworth and Coleridge – he described them, rather memorably, wandering the hills, ‘each irradiating ...

National Institutions

Hans Keller, 15 October 1981

The Proms and Natural Justice: A Plan for Renewal 
by Robert Simpson.
Toccata Press, 66 pp., £1.95, July 1981, 0 907689 00 0
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The Proms and the Men Who Made Them 
by Barrie Hall.
Allen and Unwin, 192 pp., £8.95, June 1981, 0 04 780024 0
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The Nine Symphonies of Beethoven 
by Antony Hopkins.
Heinemann, 290 pp., £12.50, April 1981, 0 435 81427 3
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... has remained uncontested by the entire musical profession and most critics (though Desmond Shawe-Taylor finds it ‘hard to decide’), the licence-payer is entitled to insist on learning the BBC’s own precise, concrete, practical and ethical reaction, which, despite some defensive voices from elevated quarters, has not been as much as attempted: let ...

Pork Chops and Pineapples

Terry Eagleton: The Realism of Erich Auerbach, 23 October 2003

Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature 
by Erich Auerbach.
Princeton, 579 pp., £13.95, May 2003, 9780691113364
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... than Mansfield Park does. Life can be a good deal more surreal than André Breton. Walter Benjamin considered that Baudelaire’s poetry reflected the urban masses of Paris, even though those masses are nowhere actually present in his work. Bertolt Brecht thought that realism was a matter of a work’s effects, not of whether it recalled something ...

Does a donkey have to bray?

Terry Eagleton: The Reality Effect, 25 September 2008

Accident: A Philosophical and Literary History 
by Ross Hamilton.
Chicago, 342 pp., £18, February 2008, 978 0 226 31484 6
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... of middle-class society, popular democracy and the idea of everyday life. (The latter, Charles Taylor claims, was the invention of Christianity, but it took the modern French intelligentsia to establish it as a kosher intellectual concern.) Authors like Defoe and Richardson emerged from the fledgling middle class’s endless fascination with the ...

Southern Discomfort

Bertram Wyatt-Brown, 8 June 1995

The Southern Tradition: The Achievement and Limitations of an American Conservatism 
by Eugene Genovese.
Harvard, 138 pp., £17.95, October 1994, 0 674 82527 6
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... the writings of an unlikely set of predecessors: Edmund Burke, the eccentric Jeffersonians John Taylor of Caroline and John Randolph of Roanoke, Old School Presbyterian defenders of slavery, T.S. Eliot, Karl Marx, Karl Barth, Reinhold Niebuhr, the Nashville Agrarians and their latterday apostles, Richard Weaver and Melvin Bradford. Liberals thus find ...

I Could Fix That

David Runciman: Clinton, 17 December 2009

The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History in the White House 
by Taylor Branch.
Simon and Schuster, 707 pp., £20, October 2009, 978 1 84737 140 9
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... hardly features at all in these write-ups of a series of nearly 80 taped conversations Taylor Branch had with Clinton over the course of his presidency. On the few occasions he does get noticed it is as a minor irritant and something of a buffoon. He gets only one sustained mention, in early 1996, when Bill and Hillary are griping about the torrent ...

Fugitive Crusoe

Tom Paulin: Daniel Defoe, 19 July 2001

Daniel Defoe: Master of Fictions 
by Maximilian Novak.
Oxford, 756 pp., £30, April 2001, 0 19 812686 7
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Political and Economic Writings of Daniel Defoe 
edited by W.R. Owens and P.N. Furbank.
Pickering & Chatto, £595, December 2000, 1 85196 465 7
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... that time. Here were produced of ministers, Mr Timothy Cruso, Mr Hannot of Yarmouth, Mr Nathaniel Taylor, Mr Owen and several others; and of another kind, poets Sam. Wesley, Daniel De Foe, and two or three of your Western martyrs that, had they liv’d, would have been extraordinary men of that kind, viz. Kitt. Battersby, young Jenkins, Hewlin, and many ...

Mixed Feelings

James Wood: Italo Svevo’s Last Cigarette, 3 January 2002

Zeno's Conscience 
by Italo Svevo, edited by William Weaver.
Everyman, 437 pp., £12.99, November 2001, 1 85715 249 2
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Memoir of Italo Svevo 
by Livia Veneziani Svevo, translated by Isabel Quigly.
Northwestern, 178 pp., $15.95, June 2001, 0 8101 6084 6
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Emilio's Carnival 
by Italo Svevo, translated by Beth Archer Brombert.
Yale, 233 pp., £22.50, October 2001, 0 300 09049 8
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... might be able to do something on Zeno’s behalf. Joyce suggested, in France, Valéry Larbaud and Benjamin Crémieux, men of letters with an interest in Italian writing. Svevo duly sent copies to them, and Joyce busied himself at the kind of high cultural bustle that he was now very good at. Thanks to Joyce, it was French literary culture that first took ...
... mainland triggered protests and uprisings across the imperial periphery as the historian Miles Taylor has shown. The transportation en masse of potential trouble-makers from England and Ireland triggered protests in Australia and the Cape Colony. To keep sugar cheap the British government abandoned the system of tariff walls known as ‘imperial ...

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