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How can we live with it?

Thomas Jones: How to Survive Climate Change, 23 May 2013

The Carbon Crunch: How We’re Getting Climate Change Wrong – and How to Fix It 
by Dieter Helm.
Yale, 273 pp., £20, September 2012, 978 0 300 18659 8
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Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering 
by Clive Hamilton.
Yale, 247 pp., £20, February 2013, 978 0 300 18667 3
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The City and the Coming Climate: Climate Change in the Places We Live 
by Brian Stone.
Cambridge, 187 pp., £19.99, July 2012, 978 1 107 60258 8
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... other, a former head of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (as paraphrased by Brian Stone): ‘Only Newton’s laws of motion may enjoy a wider scientific consensus than a human-enhanced greenhouse effect.’ There isn’t consensus, however, either scientific or political, about the best ways to respond to the problem; in part ...

At Sadie Coles

Brian Dillon: Helen Marten, 21 October 2021

... and devious – and no less seductive. The ‘head’ of Helen Marten’s ‘Sparrows on the Stone’. In 2016 Marten won both the Turner Prize and the first Hepworth Prize for Sculpture. Last year she published The Boiled in Between: a novel of sorts that translates into prose some of the jam-packed erudition of her art and its ickier explorations of ...

English Fame and Irish Writers

Brian Moore, 20 November 1980

Selected Poems 1956-1975 
by Seamus Heaney.
Faber, 136 pp., £3.95, October 1980, 0 571 11644 2
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Preoccupations: Selected Prose 1968-1978 
by Seamus Heaney.
Faber, 224 pp., £7.95, October 1980, 0 571 11638 8
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... of prose pieces:I would begin with the Greek word omphalos, meaning the navel, and hence the stone that marked the centre of the world, and repeat it. omphalos, omphalos, omphalos, until its blunt and falling music becomes the music of somebody pumping water outside our back door. It is Co. Derry in the early 1940s. The American bombers groan towards the ...

At the Royal Academy

Brian Dillon: Ai Weiwei, 8 October 2015

... in the middle, a consequence in part of having a room devoted to works executed in white marble. Stone from the Dashiwo quarry, in which the artist has lately acquired a financial interest, was used to build the Forbidden City in the 15th century and, in the 1970s, Mao’s mausoleum. Ai’s installation Cao (2014) is a field of marble grass, containing a ...

At the Towner Gallery

Brian Dillon: Carey Young, Palais de Justice, 4 April 2019

... in Rome, covering an area of 26,000 square metres, with reputedly the largest accumulation of stone blocks in Europe. Its architect, Joseph Poelaert, inspired by John Martin’s scenes of apocalyptic ruin, had been fantasising about such a structure for years before he won the commission to design the new Palais in 1861. Time passed, costs swelled from ...


Graham Coster, 10 January 1991

Stone Alone 
by Bill Wyman and Ray Coleman.
Viking, 594 pp., £15.99, October 1990, 0 670 82894 7
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Blown away: The Rolling Stones and the Death of the Sixties 
by A.E. Hotchner.
Simon and Schuster, 377 pp., £15.95, October 1990, 0 671 69316 6
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Are you experienced? The Inside Story of the Jimi Hendrix Experience 
by Noel Redding and Carol Appleby.
Fourth Estate, 256 pp., £14.99, September 1990, 1 872180 36 1
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I was a teenage Sex Pistol 
by Glen Matlock and Pete Silverton.
Omnibus, 192 pp., £12.95, September 1990, 0 7119 2491 0
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by George Michael and Tony Parsons.
Joseph, 242 pp., £12.99, September 1990, 0 7181 3435 4
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... The ‘Bill’ in Bill Wyman, it is not commonly known, stands for counting-up, the reckoning. Stone Alone runs to nearly six hundred pages of dogged chronology and totalling. It gives you every date the Rolling Stones played between their formation and the notorious Altamont debacle in 1969, the massive free concert outside San Francisco during which a ...

When to Stop Counting

Brian Rotman, 27 November 1997

Fermat’s Last Theorem: Unlocking the Secret of an Ancient Mathematical Problem 
by Amir Aczel.
Viking, 147 pp., £9.99, May 1997, 0 670 87638 0
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... Thus, Mordell’s famous conjecture from the Twenties, whose recent settlement was a stepping-stone to Wiles’s result, hypothesises a connection between the number of holes on a certain surface naturally connected to an equation and the question whether the equation has an infinity of solutions. These are highly technical considerations whose ...

In Bloody Orkney

Robert Crawford: George Mackay Brown, 22 February 2007

George Mackay Brown: The Life 
by Maggie Fergusson.
Murray, 363 pp., £25, April 2006, 0 7195 5659 7
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The Collected Poems of George Mackay Brown 
edited by Brian Murray.
Murray, 547 pp., £18.99, October 2006, 0 7195 6884 6
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... poetry and prose collected in many books from the 1950s until his death in 1996. Some of the small stone houses on the long, crooked main street of Stromness are built end-on so that their frontages face the stone piers that lead off the street. Cars are forced almost into shop doorways as they attempt to pass each ...

Nationalising English

Patrick Parrinder, 28 January 1993

The Great Betrayal: Memoirs of a Life in Education 
by Brian Cox.
Chapmans, 386 pp., £17.99, September 1992, 1 85592 605 9
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... are storming one of the last bastions of progressive education. So runs the latest episode in what Brian Cox terms ‘the great betrayal’: the betrayal of teachers and their pupils over the last thirty years by government interference, false ideologies and starvation of resources. The current cast of this depressing production seems to have wandered off the ...

What the Yarrow Stalks Foretell

Brian Rotman, 9 February 1995

The Classic of Changes: A New Translation of the I Ching as Interpreted by Wang Bi 
translated by Richard Lynn.
Columbia, 602 pp., £15.50, November 1994, 0 231 08294 0
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... Perfection, Inevitability, Modesty, Carefulness; and the reflections Youngest Son, Dog, Hand, Stone, Green, Early Spring, North-East.Any two trigrams can be brought together to form a hexagram in two different ways. Combining Earth (Kun) and Lake (Dui), for example, produces the hexagrams:GatheringOverseeing☱☷☷☱LuiLinIn all, 64 hexagrams can be ...


Brian Dillon: Michael Ondaatje, 13 December 2007

by Michael Ondaatje.
Bloomsbury, 273 pp., £17.99, September 2007, 978 0 7475 8924 2
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... and his usual awkward register is almost preferable. Almost: ‘this was furious mathematics, a stone in your heart, luck, and the chance of an eventual card – the River – that would glance you towards your fate.’ When Ondaatje is not trying to get terminologically down with his characters, he tends to hover above them, sage and loquacious, ever ready ...

On Not Getting the Credit

Brian Dillon: Eileen Gray, 23 May 2013

Eileen Gray 
Pompidou Centre, 20 February 2013 to 20 May 2013Show More
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... one more house, Lou Pérou: a renovation, undertaken when she was in her mid-seventies, of an old stone building near Saint-Tropez she had bought in 1939. There were also numerous designs for postwar housing and civic or leisure centres, all of them unbuilt. She hung on at Saint-Tropez until isolation and Parkinson’s got the better of her and then retired ...


Brian Rotman: Why did the eternal one arrive so late?, 17 February 2005

God: An Itinerary 
by Régis Debray.
Verso, 307 pp., £25, March 2004, 1 85984 589 4
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... rules the patriotic lives of tens of millions, and where the Ten Commandments are engraved in stone in courthouses and state buildings throughout the land, belief in the Almighty and the ongoing maintenance of American national identity are inseparable. Nowhere is this more evident and dangerous than in the fusion of evangelical Christianity and ...

Impossible Desires

Adam Smyth: Death of the Book, 7 March 2024

Bibliophobia: The End and the Beginning of the Book 
by Brian Cummings.
Oxford, 562 pp., £37.99, February 2022, 978 0 19 284731 7
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... of peaks and troughs. It seems to turn inwards and outwards at the same time. At the heart of Brian Cummings’s Bibliophobia is a sense of the book as a ‘liminal object’, by which Cummings means that the book is both vessel and object, something that carries and something that is: ‘a transaction between physical and mental universes’. Sometimes ...

Little Brits

Tom Shippey: Murder on Hadrian’s Wall, 19 November 2015

The Real Lives of Roman Britain 
by Guy de la Bédoyère.
Yale, 241 pp., £20, May 2015, 978 0 300 20719 4
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... What​ have the Romans ever done for us?’ John Cleese asks in Monty Python’s Life of Brian. His audience, not realising his question is rhetorical, replies: aqueducts, sanitation, medicine, public order, etc etc. Guy de la Bédoyère, on the other hand, doesn’t need a list: the Romans’ most important legacy, he suggests in his new book, is literacy, and specifically the habit of written memorialisation ...

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