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Race doesn’t come into it

Meehan Crist: Am I My Mother-in-Law?, 25 October 2018

She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions and Potential of Heredity 
by Carl Zimmer.
Picador, 656 pp., £25, August 2018, 978 1 5098 1853 2
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... And then, a modern-day mutation: the genetic revolution. ‘At the dawn of the 20th century,’ Carl Zimmer writes, ‘scientists came to limit the word heredity to genes. Before long, this narrow definition spread in influence far beyond genetic laboratories. It hangs like a cloud over our most personal experiences of heredity, even if we can’t stop ...

I don’t want your revolution

Marco Roth: Jonathan Lethem, 20 February 2014

Dissident Gardens 
by Jonathan Lethem.
Cape, 366 pp., £18.99, January 2014, 978 0 224 09395 8
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... old European ‘decline of a family’ novel. It tells the story of a single family, the Angrush-Zimmer clan, down the generations, presenting itself as a sprightlier Buddenbrooks. At one point a young member of the family writes to her father, back in East Germany, to say she’s read the copy of Mann’s novel that he gave her: ‘all those dishes and ...

Breathing in Verse

Theodore Ziolkowski: A rich translation of Hölderlin, 23 September 2004

Poems and Fragments 
by Friedrich Hölderlin, translated by Michael Hamburger.
Anvil, 823 pp., £19.95, March 2004, 0 85646 360 4
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... graphic artists have portrayed scenes from his life and work, while composers from Hindemith and Carl Orff to Britten, Henze, Holliger and Nono have set not only his poems, including the ‘Scardanelli’ poems from the years of madness, but also his translations of Pindar and Sophocles. The chief reason, however, for Hölderlin’s continuing resonance is ...

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