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Cyber-Jihad

Charles Glass: What Osama Said, 9 March 2006

The Secret History of al-Qaida 
by Abdel Bari Atwan.
Saqi, 256 pp., £16.99, February 2006, 0 86356 760 6
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Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror 
by Michael Scheuer.
Potomac, 307 pp., £11.95, July 2005, 1 57488 862 5
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Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden 
edited by Bruce Lawrence, translated by James Howarth.
Verso, 292 pp., £10.99, November 2005, 1 84467 045 7
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Osama: The Making of a Terrorist 
by Jonathan Randal.
Tauris, 346 pp., £9.99, October 2005, 1 84511 117 6
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... because he said he will. He is a man of his word. In his introduction to Messages to the World, Bruce Lawrence writes: ‘Bin Laden is not an original thinker.’ What gives these statements ‘their unique force . . . are his literary gifts. Bin Laden has earned many labels by now – fanatic, nihilist, fundamentalist, terrorist – but what ...

Keeping up the fight

Paul Delany, 24 January 1991

D.H. LawrenceA Biography 
by Jeffrey Meyers.
Macmillan, 446 pp., £19.95, August 1990, 0 333 49247 1
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D.H. Lawrence 
by Tony Pinkney.
Harvester, 180 pp., £30, June 1990, 0 7108 1347 3
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England, My England, and Other Stories 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Bruce Steele.
Cambridge, 285 pp., £37.50, March 1990, 0 521 35267 3
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The ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ Trial (Regina v. Penguin Books Limited) 
edited by H. Montgomery Hyde.
Bodley Head, 333 pp., £18, June 1990, 0 370 31105 1
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Boy 
by James Hanley.
Deutsch, 191 pp., £11.99, August 1990, 0 233 98578 6
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D.H. LawrenceA Literary Life 
by John Worthen.
Macmillan, 196 pp., £27.50, September 1989, 0 333 43352 1
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... When Willie Hopkin first caught sight of D.H. Lawrence in his pram, he thought him a ‘puny, fragile little specimen’. Forty-four years later the fragile specimen died, reduced by tuberculosis to a weight of 90 pounds. It is understandable, then, that Jeffrey Meyers should make much of Lawrence’s ‘lifelong invalidism’, and conclude his biography with an appendix called ‘A History of Illness ...

A Pom by the name of Bruce

John Lanchester, 29 September 1988

Utz 
by Bruce Chatwin.
Cape, 154 pp., £9.95, September 1988, 0 224 02608 9
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... the family home in Circleville, Utah and ate blueberry pie. Hitler was a vegetarian. Admirers of Bruce Chatwin’s writings will recognise these facts, which are gleaned from his books and reflect one of their pleasures. He has a talent for the offbeat and the out-of-the-way, a kind of archaeological talent for the excavation of interesting data. In ...

Made in Heaven

Frank Kermode, 10 November 1994

Frieda Lawrence 
by Rosie Jackson.
Pandora, 240 pp., £14.99, September 1994, 9780044409151
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The Married Man: A Life of D.H. Lawrence 
by Brenda Maddox.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 631 pp., £20, August 1994, 1 85619 243 1
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Kangaroo 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Bruce Steele.
Cambridge, 493 pp., £60, August 1994, 0 521 38455 9
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Twilight in Italy and Other Essays 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Paul Eggert.
Cambridge, 327 pp., £55, August 1994, 0 521 26888 5
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... ten in progress. Apart from the full-life biographies there are books covering short periods of Lawrence’s life: his wartime adventures and agonies, his years in Italy, in Australia, in New Mexico and Mexico, and so on. There are also numerous memoirs by people such as Jessie Chambers, Helen Corke, Catherine Carswell, Dorothy Brett, Mabel Dodge, a pair of ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: Voices from Beyond the Grave, 20 November 2008

... of Old Mr Turveydrop. He was not alone in this, if you bear in mind the solo thespian flights of Bruce Chatwin. A woman in Italy with whom Chatwin used to stay remembers an afternoon when the maid came running downstairs, frightened half to death by the noises coming from Chatwin’s room. ‘Oh, don’t worry,’ said the experienced hostess. ‘...

Anti-Humanism

Terry Eagleton: Lawrence Sanitised, 5 February 2004

D.H. Lawrence and ‘Difference’: Post-Coloniality and the Poetry of the Present 
by Amit Chaudhuri.
Oxford, 226 pp., £20, June 2003, 0 19 926052 4
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... that Edmund Burke was a reactionary or that an extraordinary number of male Australians are called Bruce, this is now such a received idea that it seems almost indelicate to point out that it is completely false. In fact, almost all of the best-known literary theorists engage in close reading: witness Roman Jakobson on Baudelaire, Roland Barthes on ...

We’ve done awfully well

Karl Miller: The Late 1950s, 18 July 2013

Modernity Britain: Opening the Box, 1957-59 
by David Kynaston.
Bloomsbury, 432 pp., £25, June 2013, 978 0 7475 8893 1
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... which he associates with the work of Williams, Young and Richard Hoggart, and before that of D.H. Lawrence, and which would appear here to have followed on a spell of postwar indifference. The working class is thought by these writers to be marked by a power of sympathy, of closeness and attachment, which makes them the emotional superiors of the rest of ...

Seeing Things

John Bayley, 18 July 1996

The World, the World 
by Norman Lewis.
Cape, 293 pp., £18.99, April 1996, 0 224 04234 3
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Omnibus: ‘A Dragon Apparent’, ‘Golden Earth’, ‘A Goddess in the Stones’ 
by Norman Lewis.
Picador, 834 pp., £9.99, January 1996, 0 330 33780 7
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... books and travel novels, informative, neatly written, and full of a dry detached humour, make Lawrence of Arabia or Bruce Chatwin, even Wilfred Thesiger and Freya Stark, look like the most tremendous show-offs, auto-destructive as wildlife films on TV. But then flamboyance – or flamboyant understatement – is usually ...

Passing-Out Time

Christopher Tayler: Patrick Hamilton’s drinking, 29 January 2009

The Slaves of Solitude 
by Patrick Hamilton.
Constable, 327 pp., £7.99, September 2008, 978 1 84529 415 1
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The Gorse Trilogy 
by Patrick Hamilton.
Black Spring, 603 pp., £9.95, June 2007, 978 0 948238 34 5
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... or journalism and little feeling for most writing done after about 1918. Eliot, Huxley, Lawrence and Joyce were too ‘painfully subjective’, he wrote in 1939, giving their work ‘the character of meaningless masturbation’. Auden was no good either, and Hamilton’s contact with the circles that came to dominate the received story of the 1930s ...

Heritage

Gabriele Annan, 6 March 1997

The Architect of Desire: Beauty and Danger in the Stan ford White Family 
by Suzannah Lessard.
Weidenfeld, 352 pp., £18.99, March 1997, 0 297 81940 2
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... and tastes. In her straining after the essence of things, she reminds one of David Malouf and of Bruce Chatwin (who married into her clan). I don’t mean that she copies them: she is too committed, too intense for that; an element of what an American reviewer called ‘self-administered therapy’ convinces one that she is too seriously involved to be ...

No Escape

Bruce Robbins: Culture, 1 November 2001

Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress 
edited by Samuel Huntington and Lawrence Harrison.
Basic Books, 384 pp., £12.99, April 2001, 0 465 03176 5
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Culture/Metaculture 
by Francis Mulhern.
Routledge, 198 pp., £8.99, March 2000, 0 415 10230 8
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Culture: The Anthropologists’ Account 
by Adam Kuper.
Harvard, 299 pp., £12.50, November 2000, 0 674 00417 5
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... Why are some nations so poor and others so rich? Two Harvard professors recently revived an old-fashioned answer to this unsettling question, and it sits plainly as the title of their book: ‘Culture Matters.’ Anyone who has ever agreed with them that culture does indeed matter will want to look at what they take this statement to mean. Adding so-called ‘Asian values’ – a more public-spirited, Confucian version of the Protestant ethic – to the 19th century’s self-congratulatory belief in the West’s ‘civilising mission’, Huntington and Harrison have discovered that the West can keep on congratulating itself – not this time on its exportable civilisation, but on its particular culture ...

The Art of Stealth

Bruce Ackerman: The Supreme Court under Threat, 17 February 2005

... This eloquent statement comes from Justice Kennedy, in the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Lawrence v. Texas, striking down criminal sodomy statutes that have stigmatised and oppressed homosexuals for centuries. Kennedy was Reagan’s substitute for Bork, and is no liberal. But in dissenting from Lawrence, Justice ...

I do like painting

Julian Bell: The life and art of William Coldstream, 2 December 2004

William Coldstream 
by Bruce Laughton.
Yale, 368 pp., £30, July 2004, 0 300 10243 7
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... of all generations just stood around, uncertain of what to do next … It sort of petered out.’ Bruce Laughton’s William Coldstream is an attempt, 17 years on, to gather up the tatters of a wake held at University College London. The unnamed participant touches on a more general diffidence about how to remember or appraise William Coldstream. He has a ...

Gentlemen Travellers

Denis Donoghue, 18 December 1986

Between the Woods and the Water 
by Patrick Leigh Fermor et al.
Murray, 248 pp., £13.95, October 1986, 0 7195 4264 2
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Coasting 
by Jonathan Raban.
Collins, 301 pp., £10.95, September 1986, 0 00 272119 8
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The Grand Tour 
by Hunter Davies.
Hamish Hamilton, 224 pp., £14.95, September 1986, 0 241 11907 3
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... place and report the experience in one of the styles patented by Graham Greene, Paul Theroux, Bruce Chatwin and Robert Byron. The scholarly version of these explorations is called anthropology, as in Claude Lévi-Strauss, Clifford Geertz, Margaret Mead, and many American scholars in receipt of sabbatical leave and Guggenheim fellowships. If you have a ...
Canteen Culture 
by Ike Eze-anyika.
Faber, 295 pp., £9.99, March 2000, 0 571 20079 6
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Charlieunclenorfolktango 
by Tony White.
Codex, 158 pp., £7.95, December 1999, 1 899598 13 8
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Filth 
by Irvine Welsh.
Vintage, 392 pp., £5.99, August 1999, 0 09 959111 1
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... Fictional representations of real events from Hillsborough to the Stephen Lawrence case – mostly in the form of plays and television dramas – have played a surprisingly large part in shaping national debates about the police and police culture. Novels, however, tend either to use the figure of the detective to investigate larger questions than those of routine police work, or to fall back on the conventional oppositions (efficiency and incompetence, probity and graft) which tend to prop up the morphology of the fictional plod ...

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