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Weimarama

Richard J. Evans, 8 November 1990

Male Fantasies Vol. I: Women, Floods, Bodies, History 
by Klaus Theweleit, translated by Chris Turner, Erica Carter and Stephen Conway.
Polity, 517 pp., £35, May 1987, 0 7456 0382 3
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Male Fantasies Vol. II: Male Bodies: Psychoanalysing the White Terror 
by Klaus Theweleit, translated by Chris Turner, Erica Carter and Stephen Conway.
Polity, 507 pp., £35, September 1989, 0 7456 0556 7
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... Since its appearance in Germany in 1977, Klaus Theweleit’s psychoanalytical study of fascist literature has graduated from the status of a cult work to that of a classic. Rereading it in English, a decade after my first, rather sceptical perusal, it is easy to see why. Much of what made Theweleit’s book so startlingly original in the mid-Seventies has since become relatively conventional in literary and historical studies, from the Foucaultian analysis of literary discourse, and the exploration of the political history of the human body, to a feminist perspective on sex and power ...

Thanks for being called Dick

Jenny Turner: ‘I Love Dick’, 17 December 2015

I Love Dick 
by Chris Kraus.
Tuskar Rock, 261 pp., £12.99, November 2015, 978 1 78125 647 3
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... Chris Kraus​ , a 39-year-old experimental film maker, and Sylvère Lotringer, a 56-year-old college professor from New York, have dinner with Dick ____, a friendly acquaintance of Sylvère’s, at a sushi bar in Pasadena. Dick is an English cultural critic who’s recently relocated from Melbourne to Los Angeles ...

America Deserta

Richard Poirier, 16 February 1989

America 
by Jean Baudrillard, translated by Chris Turner.
Verso, 129 pp., £12.95, November 1988, 0 86091 220 5
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America Observed: The Newspaper Years of Alistair Cooke 
by Ronald Wells.
Reinhardt, 233 pp., £12.95, November 1988, 1 871061 09 1
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American Journals 
by Albert Camus, translated by Hugh Levick.
Hamish Hamilton, 155 pp., £11.95, February 1989, 0 241 12621 5
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... I think, therefore I am’ was not supposed by Descartes to apply only to those for whom thinking is a line of work. That would appear to be the operating assumption, however, of the celebrated French sociologist-philosopher Jean Baudrillard in America, the latest of his works translated into English. At first the reader might wonder why a prose as dense as his should be made more so by having it stretched across pages of a width and gloss more appropriate to an otherwise agreeably produced and illustrated coffee-table book ...

A New Twist in the Long Tradition of the Grotesque

Marina Warner: The monstrousness of Britart, 13 April 2000

High Art Lite: British Art in the 1990s 
by Julian Stallabrass.
Verso, 342 pp., £22, December 1999, 1 85984 721 8
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This is Modern Art 
by Matthew Collings.
Weidenfeld, 270 pp., £20, June 1999, 0 297 84292 7
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... pictures of his family escape Stallabrass’s everlasting fire. Concurrently with last year’s Turner Prize show at the Tate, Ana Maria Pacheco, a Brazilian artist long resident in this country, showed the works resulting from her year’s residency at the National Gallery. Dark Night of the Soul is a monumental piece, consisting of 19 massive figures ...

Afloat with Static

Jenny Turner: Hey, Blondie!, 9 December 2019

Face It 
by Debbie Harry.
HarperCollins, 352 pp., £20, October 2019, 978 0 00 822942 9
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... but written, supposedly, by Harry herself, in collaboration with her guitarist and then lover, Chris Stein.This new memoir is also ghosted, by Sylvie Simmons, and is packaged more as a fan book than a piece of writing, with pics and graphics on glossy paper, and a great deal of padding. But there’s lots in it that’s lovely, such as a picture, on page ...

Outside Swan and Edgar’s

Matthew Sweet: The life of Oscar Wilde, 5 February 1998

The Wilde Album 
by Merlin Holland.
Fourth Estate, 192 pp., £12.99, October 1997, 1 85702 782 5
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Cosmopolitan Criticism: Oscar Wilde’s Philosophy of Art 
by Julia Prewitt Brown.
Virginia, 157 pp., $30, September 1997, 9780813917283
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The Cambridge Companion to Oscar Wilde 
edited by Peter Raby.
Cambridge, 307 pp., £37.50, October 1997, 9780521474719
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Wilde The Novel 
by Stefan Rudnicki.
Orion, 215 pp., £5.99, October 1997, 0 7528 1160 6
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Oscar Wilde 
by Frank Harris.
Robinson, 358 pp., £7.99, October 1997, 1 85487 126 9
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Moab is my Washpot 
by Stephen Fry.
Hutchinson, 343 pp., £16.99, October 1997, 0 09 180161 3
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Nothing … except My Genius 
by Oscar Wilde.
Penguin, 82 pp., £2.99, October 1997, 0 14 043693 6
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... the story back to 1930 and to Ada Leverson, who – he suggests – probably heard it from Reggie Turner. In her version, ‘a curious, very young, but hard-eyed creature appeared, looked at him, gave a sort of laugh, and passed on. He felt, he said, “as if an icy hand had clutched at his heart”. He had a sudden presentiment. He saw a vision of ...

Diary

Christopher Turner: The controversial Alfred Kinsey, 6 January 2005

... watching the footage of the multiorgasmic granny having intercourse with Pomeroy, played by Chris O’Donnell. The woman in question is Dr Alice Spears, a gynaecologist who had her first orgasm aged 40; Kinsey shot a number of films in which she featured; he and Paul Gebhard also slept with her (the latter apparently found her machine-like response ...

At Tate Britain

David Craig: Mountain Art, 25 April 2002

... I began to regret that Claude had ever flourished. What none of them quite have is the daring of Turner. As early as 1812 his Snow Storm: Hannibal Crossing the Alps wrenches us sideways and upwards, then drops us into the white snow-glare. The composition is wholly original, according with no academic pattern. The welter of rocks and frozen snow in Cottage ...

At Tate Britain

Brian Dillon: ‘Phantom Ride’, 4 July 2013

... frequently involved the reconstruction or repurposing of ramshackle machines. In 2005 he won the Turner Prize with Shedboatshed, rebuilding a tumbledown hut from the banks of the Rhine as a small boat, rowing it to Basel and turning it back into a shed for a show at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst there. He seems to have spotted that there’s something of ...

Literary Friction

Jenny Turner: Kathy Acker’s Ashes, 18 October 2017

After Kathy Acker: A Literary Biography 
by Chris Kraus.
Allen Lane, 352 pp., £20, August 2017, 978 1 63590 006 4
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... In France​ , Chris Kraus wrote in an essay from 2003, there exists ‘a formal/ informal structure for the perpetuation of a dead artist’s work’ that gets called ‘the Society of Friends’. The friends gather up the artist’s work, plans, notebooks and so on and write and elicit tributes, then publish the lot in a book called the ‘Cahiers’, maybe at their own expense ...

Like a Manta Ray

Jenny Turner: The Entire History of Sex, 21 October 2015

The Argonauts 
by Maggie Nelson.
Graywolf, 143 pp., £23, May 2015, 978 1 55597 707 8
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... one joy of reading Nelson is getting introduced to them: Catherine Opie and A.L. Steiner, Chris Burden and Paul McCarthy, Ryan Trecartin and Mike Kelley, Nao Bustamante and William Pope.L. Nelson spends less time on work that, in her view, is stupid, arrogant or exploitative. Names that come up in this context tend to be better known to mainstream ...

In Farageland

James Meek, 8 October 2014

... and a few steps forward would take you into some infinite, radiant void. It’s easy to see why Turner told Ruskin that the skies over Thanet were the most beautiful in Europe. Thanet has two parliamentary constituencies, North Thanet and South Thanet, and a single local council, also called Thanet. Otherwise ‘Thanet’ is a concept linking three seaside ...

The Same Old Solotaire

Peter Wollen, 4 July 1996

‘Salome’ and ‘Under the Hill’ 
by Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley.
Creation, 123 pp., £7.95, April 1996, 1 871592 12 7
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Aubrey Beardsley: Dandy of the Grotesque 
by Chris Snodgrass.
Oxford, 338 pp., £35, August 1995, 0 19 509062 4
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... and Warhol. Beardsley had no use for futurism or the machine aesthetic or abstract art. He loathed Turner, the founder of the colouristic sublime, comparing him to Antoine Wiertz, the Belgian painter of huge melodramatic historical and religious scenes. The Sixties can also be seen as marking the end of classic Modernism. This is not to say that Beardsley ...

Diary

W.G. Runciman: On Trade-Unionism, 5 May 1988

... with the same wary pragmatism. It is, I agree, ‘startling’ (the word used by Alan Sked and Chris Cook in their Post-War Britain: A Political History) to find the Director-General of the CBI saying during the General Election campaign of 1974 that the 1971 Act had ‘sullied every relationship at every level between unions and employers and ought to be ...

Across the Tellyverse

Jenny Turner: Daleks v. Cybermen, 22 June 2006

Doctor Who 
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Doctor Who: A Critical Reading of the Series 
by Kim Newman.
BFI, 138 pp., £12, December 2005, 1 84457 090 8
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... girlfriend is besotted,’ leicesterbloke writes on the digitalspy forum. ‘When she saw Chris Eccleston turn into him at the end of the last series, she asked me if I could do that.’ But it can also get an actor into trouble – as Tennant showed, wearily, in last year’s ghastly Secret Smile (ITV), in which his lovely-doggie persona was given an ...

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