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“... the lepidopterist and the writer. Nabokov’s Butterflies comes with impeccable credentials: Brian Boyd, Nabokov’s biographer, has composed it in association with the lepidopterist Robert Pyle; the translations from Russian are by Dmitri Nabokov. Nonetheless, doubt rises early. We are immediately confronted by Philippe Halsman’s photograph of ...”
“... evolutionary science seems to offer struggle, disruption, waste and chance in their place. Brian Boyd’s On the Origin of Stories, which presents itself as a work of ‘evocriticism’, might well be a straw in the wind blowing contemporary criticism back from Culture to Nature. Given the rampant culturalism of much current literary work, which ...”
“... States, and, post-Lolita, in Montreux. Disposing of Andrew Field, his predecessor in the field, Brian Boyd cites his insolent, perfunctory response to one of Nabokov’s factual corrections. Told an event had taken place in July and not on ‘a wet autumnal day’, Field emended the phrase to ‘a wet autumnal day in July’ – a covert imputation and ...”
“... Lestat a Premium Stake- holder Vampire (PSV), bloods him and then he goes into the fire. With Brian Boyd who knows the story, Lestat makes his Mother Gabrielle a vampire. Lestat encounters Armand’s coven. Lestat makes a tidy sum, a killing. Lestat gives Renaud’s Theater to four vampires who, with Nicolas Bourriaud, turn it into ...”
“... His depiction of suffering always makes cold shivers of pleasure run up my spine. What does Boyd make of this lepidopteral coldness? Given his subject’s superb contempt for the ‘Viennese Quack’ and all those who travel in the ‘third-class carriage of his thought’, psychoanalytical theories of artistic sublimation are out. On the issue of ...”
“... mortels.’ To believe that one’s soul dies is just as delusional as to believe that one is God. Brian Boyd, in his splendid two-volume biography, links this story with another, ‘Signs and Symbols’, written in 1948. An aged couple try to visit their hopelessly insane son in an asylum to give him a birthday present, but he has attempted suicide for ...”
“... between Nabokov’s biographers – the publishing rascal Andrew Field and friend of the family, Brian Boyd. Should Diane Middlebrook have had access to Anne Sexton’s psychiatric records? Did Lawrence Durrell commit incest with his daughter, and if he did should the public know about it? The reluctance of his estate to authorise a biography of ...”
“... adroit articulation of the question that Anita Brookner has so far produced. In William Boyd’s The New Confessions a crucial part is played by Rousseau’s old ones, and the presence of its precursor is not altogether to the novel’s advantage. The revelations are made by John James Todd, a forgotten film-director in Mediterranean exile putting ...”
“... love of his life (Rhodes, in his second will, left his estate to Pickering), one must turn to Brian Roberts’s Cecil Rhodes and the Princess, where, for the first and only time, Pickering’s early life and background are accurately delineated. Other murky areas – Rhodes’s dealings with Lobengula and the Matabele, the formation of the British South ...”
“... electoral pundits could barely find enough superlatives for the role played by Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen in the party’s triumph. Ahern, they said, was a ‘political tsunami’, and Cowen, if anything, even more formidable. This time around, neither Ahern nor Cowen was standing, rightly fearing the vengeance of the electorate. Cowen’s awe-inspiring ...”
“... even though we haven’t yet got round to it, and that Liverpool are the best club side in Europe, Brian, we can’t help being impinged upon, being made to realise that writing, alas, isn’t just a seamless embrace between writer and reader. The other day, for instance, I turned up the following harmless statement about myself: Barnes, Julian 1946- Julian ...”
“... college in 1984. After a well-balanced and informative introduction by Goldman, Collini (with Boyd Hilton as respondent) explains the relationship between Fawcett and his first biographer, and shows how integral the concept of ‘manliness’ was to their affinity and to their faith in political economy. Collini’s somewhat mannered and over-elaborate ...”
“... overnight pieces on the Booker short-list and lament the omissions – where was McEwan? Where was Boyd? Where was Amis? And the other Amis? – they are examining the candidates (not all of whom they can possibly have read) rather than the judges. If I were Mr Ron Pollard of Ladbrokes (whose odds have got a great deal meaner since the days when some of us ...”
“... victory in 1945 brought opportunity to high-minded persons from more than one political tradition. Boyd Orr the medical reformer and Julian Huxley the socially-conscious scientist helped to set up Unesco. William Beveridge, a Liberal, saw his Welfare State largely enacted; Creech Jones, chairman of the Fabian Colonial Bureau which had been founded in ...”