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Nicholas Penny

18 March 1982
Michelangelo and the Language of Art 
by David Summers.
Princeton, 626 pp., £26.50, February 1981, 0 691 03957 7
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Bernini in France: An Episode in 17th-Century History 
by Cecil Gould.
Weidenfeld, 158 pp., £12.95, March 1982, 0 297 77944 3
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... around the former. At last a modern, scholarly edition is in preparation – almost ready, it is rumoured. There is also room for a popular edition consisting of selected passages with a commentary. Gould’s Bernini in France is not that. Although he does quote some substantial passages, he tends to paraphrase and much is lost, some of it important – including the detail of one of the most moving ...

Lucky Boy

Kevin Kopelson

3 April 1997
Shine 
directed by Scott Hicks.
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Shine: The Screenplay 
by Jan Sardi.
Bloomsbury, 176 pp., £7.99, January 1997, 0 7475 3173 0
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The Book of David 
by Beverley Eley.
HarperCollins, 285 pp., £8.99, March 1997, 0 207 19105 0
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Love You to Bits and Pieces: Life with David Helfgott 
by Gillian Helfgott, with Alissa Tanskaya.
Penguin, 337 pp., £6.99, January 1997, 0 14 026546 5
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... Nor did Max Ophuls’s Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948). Yet, while Jane Campion’s The Piano (1993) presented a woman incapable of speech, François Girard’s Thirty-Two Short Films about Glenn Gould (1994) presented a man who was abnormally articulate – one who in the 22nd film, for example, rehearses the revealing personal ad: ‘Friendly, companionably reclusive, socially unacceptable ...

Living with Monsters

Ferdinand Mount: PMs v. the Media

22 April 2010
Where Power Lies: Prime Ministers v. the Media 
by Lance Price.
Simon & Schuster, 498 pp., £20, February 2010, 978 1 84737 253 6
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... civil servants, so now they are bullied and sworn at by spin doctors in The Thick of It and In the Loop. How quickly Blair’s pose became exposed. As early as June 2000, his pet pollster Philip Gould was reporting their focus groups as saying that ‘TB is not believed to be real. He lacks conviction, he is all spin and presentation.’ It is a bitter irony that this image of him became fixed in ...

The Shoreham Gang

Seamus Perry: Samuel Palmer

5 April 2012
Mysterious Wisdom: The Life and Work of Samuel Palmer 
by Rachel Campbell-Johnston.
Bloomsbury, 382 pp., £25, June 2011, 978 0 7475 9587 8
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... darkness of the scene, for example, seem quite independent of any shadows likely to be cast in nature by that immense moon. Oddity in art can be a bravura display of brilliant perversity, like Glenn Gould taking Bach at a counterintuitive lick; but the best Palmer is odd in a much quieter and more mysterious way than that, as though serenely unaware of its own peculiarity. It is hard to imagine an art ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: A Shameful Year

8 January 2004
... of water avens, the dusky purples and pinks in its strawberryish flower growing in among the spikes of yellow wood spurge, an arrangement more effective than anything you’d get at Pulbrook and Gould. 29 May. That Tony Blair (as today talking to troops in Basra) will often say ‘I honestly believe’ rather than just ‘I believe’ says all that needs to be said. ‘To be honest’ another of ...

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