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Karl Miller: What is rugby for?, 5 December 1991

... impulse. For the Independent, the knock-on was an ‘outrageous’ act. For the England hooker, Brian Moore, it was a bad case of cheating. For me, it was something anyone might have done, perhaps, for god’s sake, hoping for a catch. A penalty was awarded. But there was talk of a penalty try, and some moralists would probably have preferred a ...

Hallo Dad

Christopher Ricks, 2 October 1980

Mr Nicholas Sir Henry and Sons Daymare 
by Thomas Hinde.
Macmillan, 271 pp., £6.95, August 1980, 0 333 29539 0
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... mother dear.’ Hinde, who thirty years later is still a writer of distinct goodness, akin to Brian Moore in his lucid patience and justice, has done nothing better. To bring out three books on the same day, as Robert Lowell knew when he promulgated History, For Lizzie and Harriet and The Dolphin, is to ask for comparisons, indeed to cry out for them ...

Sweaney Peregraine

Paul Muldoon, 1 November 1984

Station Island 
by Seamus Heaney.
Faber, 123 pp., £5.95, October 1984, 0 571 13301 0
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Sweeney Astray: A Version 
by Seamus Heaney.
Faber, 85 pp., £6.95, October 1984, 0 571 13360 6
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by Craig Raine.
Faber, 109 pp., £5.95, September 1984, 0 571 13215 4
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... the words ‘bitter’ and ‘dependable’. In ‘Remembering Malibu’, a poem addressed to Brian Moore, he writes of the island monastic site of Great Skellig:                       the steps cut in the rock I never climbed between the graveyard and the boatslip are welted solid to my instep. Again, that ‘cutting ...

How many nipples had Graham Greene?

Colm Tóibín, 9 June 1994

... To Roald Dahl: ‘I have just finished reading Boy with immense pleasure and great horror.’ To Brian Moore: ‘I always remember our evening together at the amusing strip-tease joint which has since been closed down!’ Clearly, he enjoyed his bit of strip-tease: witness this short letter to Gloria Emerson: ‘Thank you so much for your postcard from ...

Cracker Culture

Ian Jackman, 7 September 2000

Irish America 
by Reginald Byron.
Oxford, 317 pp., £40, November 1999, 0 19 823355 8
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Remembering Ahanagran: Storytelling in a Family’s Past 
by Richard White.
Cork, 282 pp., IR£14.99, October 1999, 1 85918 232 1
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From the Sin-é Café to the Black Hills: Notes on the New Irish 
by Eamon Wall.
Wisconsin, 139 pp., $16.95, February 2000, 0 299 16724 0
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The Encyclopedia of the Irish in America 
edited by Michael Glazier.
Notre Dame, 988 pp., £58.50, August 1999, 0 268 02755 2
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... where he or she is from. He discusses the work of writers from a great variety of backgrounds: Brian Moore, Mary Gordon, Thomas McGonigle and Michael Stephens. Stephens’s work, he says, is best read alongside that of the African-American Trey Ellis, the Latina Sandra Cisneros and the Scot James Kelman, rather than other Irish-Americans. Stephens’s ...

At Kettle’s Yard

Brian Dillon: ‘Linderism’, 7 May 2020

... sometimes with a twisted take on ageing glam rock: one of the mocked-up female faces looks like Brian Connolly, the lead singer of the Sweet. Linder initially drew or painted over found images: on a page from a Damart catalogue, for instance, she gave thermal underwear models garish lingerie and scurrilous genitalia. Guided by Ades’s book, she turned ...

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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... the publication of the later one by a lot of in-group facetiousness at the start. Although G.E. Moore’s Principia Ethica still lay four years in the future, Russell had available to him the typescript of some lectures that Moore had given in London during the previous year on ‘The Elements of Ethics’. In his paper ...


Anne Enright: Censorship in Ireland, 21 March 2013

... that the cloud that hung over public discourse for so many years got into writers’ bones, too. Brian Moore was angry at the fact that his father, who was a well read man, had been ‘brainwashed into the notion that people such as Belloc and Chesterton were the greatest English writers of their day’. When he went to Dublin after the war everyone was ...

Triple Life

Brian Pippard, 23 November 1989

Schrödinger: Life and Thought 
by Walter Moore.
Cambridge, 513 pp., £25, August 1989, 9780521354349
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... is that his irregular private life occupies a considerable fraction of this book. Professor Moore faithfully records Schrödinger’s diligent pursuit of alluring women and adolescent girls, with only a few restrained criticisms of the impropriety. Schrödinger was vain of his erotic skills and one must (putting envy aside) accept his own ...

Whereof one cannot speak

George Steiner, 23 June 1988

Wittgenstein. A Life: Young Ludwig 1889-1921 
by Brian McGuinness.
Duckworth, 322 pp., £15.95, May 1988, 0 7156 0959 9
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... And that question remains after one has read, with frequent admiration and thanks, Volume One of Brian McGuinness’s Wittgenstein: A Life. McGuinness brings more detail and documentation to his portrayal of ‘Young Ludwig (1889-1921)’ than any previous memoir or account. But those who have wanted to acquaint themselves with the story will not find much ...
The Falklands Campaign: The Lessons 
HMSO, 46 pp., £3.95, December 1982Show More
Sea Change 
by Keith Speed.
Ashgrove Press, 194 pp., £7.95, December 1982, 0 906798 20 5
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One Man’s Falklands 
by Tam Dalyell.
Cecil Woolf, 144 pp., £5.50, December 1982, 0 900821 65 5
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War in the Falklands: The Campaign in Pictures 
Weidenfeld, 154 pp., £7.95, November 1982, 0 297 78202 9Show More
Armed Forces and the Welfare Societies: Challenges in the 1980s 
edited by Gwyn Harries-Jenkins.
Macmillan, 281 pp., £20, December 1982, 0 333 33542 2
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... to exploit its opportunities against the carriers and liners, and at San Carlos – as General Moore admitted – there could have been a disaster had the enemy concentrated on the landing craft rather than the escorts. General Menendez also committed a cardinal error in not making an all-out effort to smash the beachhead in the first vulnerable ...

How to Catch a Tortoise

A.W. Moore: Infinity, 18 December 2003

Everything and More: A Compact History of ∞ 
by David Foster Wallace.
Weidenfeld, 319 pp., £14.99, November 2003, 0 297 64567 6
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A Brief History of Infinity: The Quest to Think the Unthinkable 
by Brian Clegg.
Constable, 255 pp., £8.99, September 2003, 1 84119 650 9
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The Art of the Infinite: Our Lost Language of Numbers 
by Robert Kaplan and Ellen Kaplan.
Allen Lane, 324 pp., £20, August 2003, 0 7139 9629 3
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... comes to infinity.’ A much milder version of this antagonism towards Aristotle appears in both Brian Clegg’s Brief History of Infinity and Robert and Ellen Kaplan’s The Art of the Infinite. Clegg writes that Aristotle ‘made a distinction on the matter of infinity that was to prove useful, but also was a fudge that made it possible to avoid the real ...

At Tate Britain

Brian Dillon: ‘Phantom Ride’, 4 July 2013

... light on architectural details or plumb the shadows of other rooms where other works lurk (a Henry Moore? another Epstein?). In a shot that is, cinematically speaking, pure Harry Potter, a statue of St George and dragon floats in mid-air without its plinth, then is gone in a twinkle of computer-generated lens flare. In fact, some of the best and strangest ...

Snail Slow

Colm Tóibín: Letters to John McGahern, 27 January 2022

The Letters of John McGahern 
edited by Frank Shovlin.
Faber, 851 pp., £30, September 2021, 978 0 571 32666 2
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... I don’t know what’ll happen as it is if I go back.’ At the end of July he wrote to Brian Friel: ‘The Appeal Board have now rejected the Faber plea to revoke the ban. So I may get sacked [from his job as a teacher]. I intend to return as if nothing had happened and I have no other plans. I am anxious to live in Dublin for some more years if I ...

Gender Distress

Elaine Showalter, 9 May 1996

In the Cut 
by Susanna Moore.
Picador, 180 pp., £12.99, April 1996, 0 330 34452 8
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The End of Alice 
by A.M. Homes.
Scribner, 271 pp., $22, March 1996, 0 684 81528 1
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... masochist, male and female, that have become central obsessions of contemporary culture. Susanna Moore’s novel In the Cut, which laconically describes a ‘liberated’ woman’s fascination with sexual danger, ends in a gruesome encounter between knifer and knifed. ‘This dress is a mess,’ the killer says to his victim in distaste. ‘I don’t like ...

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