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Moving in

Patricia Beer, 20 November 1980

A Poor Man’s House 
by Stephen Reynolds.
London Magazine Editions, 320 pp., £5.50, August 1980, 0 904388 35 2
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... age of 25 left his home town, Devizes, to become a more or less permanent lodger in the house of Bob Woolley and his family in Sidmouth. Woolley was a fisherman and lived with the fishing community well away from the fashionable parts of the elegant Regency town. In A Poor Man’s House Reynolds describes his own life and work during these years. If he came ...


Ian Gilmour: The Cliveden Set, 19 October 2000

The Cliveden Set: Portrait of an Exclusive Fraternity 
by Norman Rose.
Cape, 277 pp., £20, August 2000, 0 224 06093 7
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... III not Henry VI – his knowledge is extensive and his touch assured. With the exception of Bob Brand the members of the Cliveden Set tended to take themselves all too seriously. Rose does not take them on their own valuation, and in fine, economical, sometimes epigrammatic prose he has written a thoroughly ...

Poor Dear, How She Figures!

Alan Hollinghurst: Forster and His Mother, 3 January 2013

The Journals and Diaries of E.M. Forster Volumes I-III 
edited by Philip Gardner.
Pickering and Chatto, 813 pp., £275, February 2011, 978 1 84893 114 5
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... entries are mere cryptic memoranda, and on a few occasions happiness writes white: ‘After which Bob and I      .’ The type for these provoking blanks may be a boyhood diary he recalled keeping; a strange incident had occurred when he was sent for a walk on the Downs near Eastbourne by his prep-school headmaster, and had been induced to masturbate a ...

Water’s water everywhere

Jerry Fodor, 21 October 2004

Kripke: Names, Necessity and Identity 
by Christopher Hughes.
Oxford, 247 pp., £35, January 2004, 0 19 824107 0
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... may sound as though I’m intending to dispraise the book, but to the contrary; I think it’s a fine piece of work in lots of ways. To begin with, the topic is well chosen. By pretty general consent, Kripke’s writings (including, especially, Naming and Necessity) have had more influence on philosophy in the US and the UK than any others since the death of ...

Tickle and Flutter

Terry Castle: Maude Hutchins’s Revenge, 3 July 2008

... outlet: she began sculpting in her teens and later earned a degree from the Yale School of Fine Arts. In 1925 she received first prize in a competition sponsored by the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design for a daring draped male nude entitled Disarmament. Over subsequent decades she would work hard – though never with great success – at being a visual ...

Making faces

Philip Horne, 9 May 1991

The Grimace 
by Nicholas Salaman.
Grafton, 256 pp., £13.99, February 1991, 0 246 13770 3
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Playing the game 
by Ian Buruma.
Cape, 234 pp., £13.99, April 1991, 0 224 02758 1
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The Music of Chance 
by Paul Auster.
Faber, 217 pp., £13.99, March 1991, 9780571161577
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... of Johannas’. It gave me a shock to realise that the song ‘Visions of Johanna’, by Bob Dylan, at which Salaman nods just this once, was at the same moment playing quietly on my stereo, which it does perhaps once a year. I didn’t bother to try to compute the odds against this happening, and left it as a sharp earful of what Paul Auster calls ...

Dutch Interiors

Svetlana Alpers, 15 November 1984

Masterpieces of 17th-Century Dutch Genre Painting: Catalogue of the Exhibition at the Royal Academy 
Philadelphia Museum of Art, 397 pp., £20, March 1984, 9780876330579Show More
The Golden Age: Dutch Painters of the 17th Century 
by Bob Haak.
Thames and Hudson, 936 pp., £40, September 1984, 0 500 23407 8
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... importance of Holland) visitors can just about afford to take home a volume which includes fine colour reproductions of every picture on view plus 300 pages of text. Reynolds would have been surprised. Indeed, the catalogue is the culmination of the modern scholarly effort to set Reynolds right, or more precisely, to set his 19th-century successors ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘The Long Good Friday’, 2 July 2015

The Long Good Friday 
directed by John MacKenzie.
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... mobster in The Long Good Friday (1980), now showing in a restored version at the BFI, is played by Bob Hoskins in one of his great early performances. It’s hard to imagine that another actor could have displayed the required combination of energy and disarray so well. This character’s problem is that he doesn’t know what’s happening to him, and ...

Disastered Me

Ian Hamilton, 9 September 1993

Rebecca’s Vest: A Memoir 
by Karl Miller.
Hamish Hamilton, 186 pp., £14.99, September 1993, 0 241 13456 0
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... half-Connor? Now and again the modest but watchful Connor household would be visited by Uncle Bob, a former miner who had risen to become a high-up sort of civil servant, an OBE, no less. The boy Karl observed with admiration Bob’s air of ‘frigid Olympian quiet’, ‘the awe’ of his ‘presence’. His visits ...

Queen Mary

Michael Neve, 20 December 1984

A Darker Shade of Pale: A Backdrop to Bob Dylan 
by Wilfrid Mellers.
Faber, 255 pp., £6.95, November 1984, 0 571 13345 2
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by Jonathan Cott.
Vermilion/Hutchinson, 244 pp., £20, October 1984, 0 09 158750 6
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... of political science, for example, must be a very weird cat. As with (almost) everything else, Bob Dylan has something to say about this. In ‘My Back Pages’, a fine song that connects scepticism with a sense of becoming increasingly youthful as the years pass, he recalls: A self-ordained professor’s tongue Too ...

All the Cultural Bases

Ian Sansom, 20 March 1997

Moon Country: Further Reports from Iceland 
by Simon Armitage and Glyn Maxwell.
Faber, 160 pp., £7.99, November 1996, 0 571 17539 2
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... and white photographs, all taken by Auden, appendices containing pie-charts and graphs, and a fine, coloured folding map. There is an extensive bibliography and one chapter is entirely devoted to an anthology of excerpts from other books about Iceland. The pages of the volume are thick, white unwater-marked wove paper and the whole thing – as eloquently ...

Test Case

Robert Taubman, 3 September 1981

July’s People 
by Nadine Gordimer.
Cape, 160 pp., £5.95, September 1981, 0 224 01932 5
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The Company of Women 
by Mary Gordon.
Cape, 291 pp., £6.50, July 1981, 0 224 01955 4
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Zuckerman Unbound 
by Philip Roth.
Cape, 225 pp., £5.95, August 1981, 0 224 01974 0
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... and the Smales see it in all its social and political complexity, and discuss it with a fine conscience. What Nadine Gordimer can do, which is still finer, is to let the book itself enact their situation at a deeper level, putting itself alongside the black Africans – July the servant who is now the host, his wife and family – with a freedom and ...

Going Electric

Patrick McGuinness: J.H. Prynne, 7 September 2000

by J.H. Prynne.
Bloodaxe/Folio/Fremantle Arts Centre, 440 pp., £25, March 2000, 1 85224 491 7
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Pearls that Were 
by J.H. Prynne.
Equipage, 28 pp., £4, March 1999, 1 900968 95 9
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by J.H. Prynne.
Barque, 42 pp., £4, December 1999, 9781903488010
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Other: British and Irish Poetry since 1970 
edited by Richard Caddel and Peter Quartermain.
Wesleyan, 280 pp., $45, March 1999, 0 8195 2241 4
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... and cosmic ructions tapering down to the ‘home world’; but also, and infrequently mentioned, a fine ear for rhythm and cadence, and a way of managing lyric in strange and dazzling ways. Prynne, like Mallarmé, has tended to polarise readers around issues of obscurity, but where the Mallarméan poem strives for ever greater linguistic purity (it is in the ...

Washed in Milk

Terry Eagleton: Cardinal Newman, 5 August 2010

Newman’s Unquiet Grave: The Reluctant Saint 
by John Cornwell.
Continuum, 273 pp., £18.99, May 2010, 978 1 4411 5084 4
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... pastoral exodus as well – nurses, for example. There is a sense in which the Dubliners Bono and Bob Geldof are self-advertising versions of Irish missionaries. The English and Scottish Catholic churches have always relied heavily on Irish priests to minister to parishioners who were themselves perhaps only a generation or two away from the farm in Mayo or ...

John McEnroe plus Anyone

Edward Said: Tennis, 1 July 1999

The Right Set: The Faber Book of Tennis 
edited by Caryl Phillips.
Faber, 327 pp., £12.99, June 1999, 0 571 19540 7
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... Anderson, Laver, Roy Emerson, John Newcombe and Fred Stolle (plus lesser stars like Don Candy and Bob Howe). I wanted to know more about South African tennis during apartheid, which gave rise to Sturgess, Gordon and Jean (his sister) Forbes, plus the colourful Abe Segal, and fine Davis-Cuppers like ...

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