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Echoes

Tom Phillips, 2 April 1981

English Art and Modernism 1900-1939 
by Charles Harrison.
Allen Lane, 416 pp., £20, February 1981, 0 7139 0792 4
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... at a Rauschenberg, however huge. It is almost as if the younger gallery-goer had already digested Charles Harrison’s salutary and illuminating study of the theory and practice of Modernist art in England, with its detailed clinical case-histories of groups and individuals. Sniffing its moment, this book appears as the tide moves against the uncritical ...

At the Whitechapel

Peter Campbell: ‘Faces in the Crowd: Picturing Modern Life from Manet to Today’, 6 January 2005

... artists have felt they were able, or not able, to do.In an essay in the exhibition catalogue, Charles Harrison describes one kind of artistic inhibition with reference to Mark Rothko. In 1958 Rothko explained that although he belonged ‘to a generation that was preoccupied with the human figure’, and although it was something he studied, he found ...

At the New Whitechapel

Peter Campbell: Isa Genzken, 30 April 2009

... a showpiece, Whitechapel High Street’s strongest and most interesting frontage. The architect, Charles Harrison Townsend, designed similar heavily moulded round-arched entrances for the Bishopsgate Institute and the Horniman Museum. The spaces inside were much less emphatic – almost industrial in their plainness. Discreetly elegant improvements in ...

On Richard Hollis

Christopher Turner: Richard Hollis, 24 May 2018

... culture, as well as religion, to the slums. The distinctive Art Nouveau structure was designed by Charles Harrison Townsend, and is dominated by a squat, Romanesque arch, placed, rather eccentrically, off-centre to make way for a modest door that used to lead to the upper galleries. It is clad in glazed terracotta bricks, and the roofline is capped by ...

At Tate Britain

T.J. Clark: Paul Nash , 2 February 2017

... scarcely male. Surely this must be the cow of Guernica’s bull. It seemed as mystical and as dire.Charles Harrison, who quotes these lines in his excellent English Art and Modernism, immediately cautions us against reading Nash’s painting in the light of his prose. ‘As a writer,’ Harrison says, ‘Nash was given ...

Balls and Strikes

Charles Reeve: Clement Greenberg, 5 April 2007

Art Czar: The Rise and Fall of Clement Greenberg 
by Alice Goldfarb Marquis.
Lund Humphries, 321 pp., £25, April 2006, 0 85331 940 5
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... himself from a belief in art’s purity. ‘I don’t believe in purity at all,’ he told Charles Harrison in 1983. ‘It acts as some kind of beacon. It’s there but it’s not possible.’ It wasn’t possible because all good paintings use more than one colour and thereby necessarily convey a sense of depth. The attempt to purge painting of ...

Hackney

W.G. Runciman, 20 October 1983

Inside the Inner City 
by Paul Harrison.
Pelican, 444 pp., £3.95, August 1983, 9780140224191
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Brighton on the Rocks: Monetarism and the Local State 
Queens Park Rates Book Group, 192 pp., £3.95, May 1983, 0 904733 08 4Show More
The Wealth Report 
edited by Frank Field.
Routledge, 164 pp., £6.95, June 1983, 0 7100 9452 3
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... Paul Harrison is at pains to make clear that his impassioned report on poverty and social conflict in the Borough of Hackney is not an academic survey. It is journalism, and proud of it. It would be totally inappropriate for a reviewer to cavil at the lack of cross-tabulations, or details of the conduct of interviews, or sampling techniques which might have proved that his selection of informants is as representative of the disadvantaged as he says it is ...

The Wives of Herr Bear

Julia Briggs: Jane Harrison, 21 September 2000

The Invention of Jane Harrison 
by Mary Beard.
Harvard, 229 pp., £23.50, July 2000, 0 674 00212 1
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... a feast of raw flesh to be eaten by initiates. Their experiment is informed by Jane Harrison’s researches into the figure of Bacchus and the ‘thiasos’, his band of ecstatic worshippers. Harrison had read her Nietzsche and set off in pursuit of the ‘darker, older’ shapes to be glimpsed behind the ...

Praising God

David Underdown, 10 June 1993

Going to the Wars: The Experience of the British Civil Wars 1638-1651 
by Charles Carlton.
Routledge, 428 pp., £25, October 1992, 0 415 03282 2
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... in among the Royalists on the opposite hill. Standing next to Baxter was the godly Major Thomas Harrison. As the Cavaliers broke and fled, Baxter heard him ‘with a loud voice break forth into the praises of God with fluent expressions, as if he had been in a rapture’. Exultant vengefulness was common in the Civil Wars of the 17th century, which form the ...

Consequences

Christopher Reid, 15 May 1980

Renga 
by Octavio Paz, Jacques Roubaud, Edoardo Sanguineti and Charles Tomlinson.
Penguin, 95 pp., £1.95, November 1979, 0 14 042268 4
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Kites in Spring 
by John Hewitt.
Blackstaff, 63 pp., £2.95, February 1980, 0 85640 206 0
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The Island Normal 
by Brian Jones.
Carcanet, 91 pp., £2.95, February 1980, 9780856353406
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New Poetry 5 
edited by Peter Redgrove and Jon Silkin.
Hutchinson, 163 pp., £4.95, November 1979, 0 09 139570 4
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... composed in Paris more than ten years ago by Octavio Paz, Jacques Roubaud, Edoardo Sanguineti and Charles Tomlinson has recently been published here. This work, the result of five days’ collaboration in the basement of the Hôtel St Simon on the left Bank, has both oriental and occidental ancestry. The ceremonial meeting of poets to enact a ritual of ...

Scots wha hae gone to England

Donald Davie, 9 July 1992

Devolving English Literature 
by Robert Crawford.
Oxford, 320 pp., £35, June 1992, 9780198112983
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The Faber Book of 20th-Century Scottish Poetry 
edited by Douglas Dunn.
Faber, 424 pp., £17.50, July 1992, 9780571154319
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... on behalf of the Scots, avoids this mistake, detecting in a provincial Englishman like Tony Harrison a fury and resentment not surpassed by any Scot. But this is hardly a novel perception, for Harrison has achieved fame on the strength of it. In fact, it’s hard to find any English writer who isn’t provincial in ...

The Virgin

David Plante, 3 April 1986

... had its front paws between her breasts, and, its tongue out, it stared at her as she spoke to it. Charles, the husband, undressed and hung his clothes askew on the silent butler. When he took off his underpants, he held them in his hands a moment, expecting his wife to look towards him naked. She didn’t. About to throw his underpants on the floor, where his ...

Callaloo

Robert Crawford, 20 April 1989

Northlight 
by Douglas Dunn.
Faber, 81 pp., £8.95, September 1988, 0 571 15229 5
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A Field of Vision 
by Charles Causley.
Macmillan, 68 pp., £10.95, September 1988, 0 333 48229 8
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Seeker, Reaper 
by George Campbell Hay and Archie MacAlister.
Saltire Society, 30 pp., £15, September 1988, 0 85411 041 0
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In Through the Head 
by William McIlvanney.
Mainstream, 192 pp., £9.95, September 1988, 1 85158 169 3
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The New British Poetry 
edited by Gillian Allnutt, Fred D’Aguiar, Ken Edwards and Eric Mottram.
Paladin, 361 pp., £6.95, September 1988, 0 586 08765 6
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Complete Poems 
by Martin Bell, edited by Peter Porter.
Bloodaxe, 240 pp., £12.95, August 1988, 1 85224 043 1
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First and Always: Poems for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital 
edited by Lawrence Sail.
Faber, 69 pp., £5.95, October 1988, 0 571 55374 5
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Birthmarks 
by Mick Imlah.
Chatto, 61 pp., £4.95, September 1988, 0 7011 3358 9
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... home? Answering the pulls and torsions of that question produces much of the verse of Heaney, Harrison and Dunn, but it also produces very different kinds of poetry. Martianism had nothing to do with Mars, everything to do with home, the place where Craig Raine (like Murray or Dunn) feels richest. Surely Martianism comes from the ‘Ithaca’ section of ...

Sexual Tories

Angus Calder, 17 May 1984

The Common People: A History from the Norman Conquest to the Present 
by J.F.C. Harrison.
Croom Helm and Flamingo, 445 pp., £12.95, March 1984, 0 7099 0125 9
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British Society 1914-45 
by John Stevenson.
Allen Lane/Penguin, 503 pp., £16.95, March 1984, 0 7139 1390 8
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The World We Left Behind: A Chronicle of the Year 1939 
by Robert Kee.
Weidenfeld, 369 pp., £11.95, April 1984, 0 297 78287 8
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Wigan Pier Revisited: Poverty and Politics in the Eighties 
by Beatrix Campbell.
Virago, 272 pp., £4.50, April 1984, 0 86068 417 2
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... rate truth, and her historical sense collapsed chronology. I was moved to remember this by J.F.C. Harrison’s ‘coda’ to his fine new book: ‘As writers like Thomas Hardy have noted, there is a certain timelessness about the common people, which means that in the last resort their experience can be expressed by myth as well as by history.’ Yes, and the ...

Votes for Women, Chastity for Men

Brian Harrison, 21 January 1988

Troublesome People: Enemies of War, 1916-1986 
by Caroline Moorehead.
Hamish Hamilton, 344 pp., £14.95, April 1987, 0 241 12105 1
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Sex and Suffrage in Britain, 1860-1914 
by Susan Kingsley Kent.
Princeton, 295 pp., £22, June 1987, 0 691 05497 5
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Women, Marriage and Politics, 1860-1914 
by Pat Jalland.
Oxford, 366 pp., £19.50, November 1986, 0 19 822668 3
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An Edwardian Mixed Doubles: The Bosanquets versus the Webbs. A Study in British Social Policy, 1890-1929 
by A.M. McBriar.
Oxford, 407 pp., £35, July 1987, 0 19 820111 7
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... attempt between 1903 and 1910 to build up a genuine political partnership with her husband Charles, despite her years of self-education for the purpose. Brushed aside by this progressive Liberal politician, she needed an outlet, and embarked in July 1910 on a life’s work in embroidery, estimating in her diary that ‘it is going to take me 30 years ...

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