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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 ...

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 ...

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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... Permission to reproduce denied’. This happens in Richard Billingham’s case as well, although his 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 ...

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 ...

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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... outside the department store, he was struck by an overwhelming sense of catastrophe. Holland traces 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 ...

At Tate Britain

David Craig: Mountain Art

25 April 2002
... The artist gives us a ‘view’ framed with so predictable a bordering of trees and clouds that 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 ...

At Tate Britain

Brian Dillon: ‘Phantom Ride’

4 July 2013
... 1910, A Trip on the Metropolitan Railway from Baker St to Uxbridge and Aylesbury. Starling’s art has 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 ...

Afloat with Static

Jenny Turner: Hey, Blondie!

9 December 2019
Face It 
by Debbie Harry.
HarperCollins, 352 pp., £20, October, 978 0 00 822942 9
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... 1980) and in Making Tracks: The Rise of Blondie (1982), an autobiography ghosted by Victor Bockris 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 ...

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 ...

Diary

Christopher Turner: The controversial Alfred Kinsey

6 January 2005
... image (she is described in the screenplay as a ‘typical grandmother’). We cut to the sex researchers 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 ...

Diary

W.G. Runciman: On Trade-Unionism

5 May 1988
... only to rise again, in a series of cycles to which employers and governments alike have responded 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 ...

In Farageland

James Meek

8 October 2014
... over the chubby peninsula has a vertiginous depthlessness, as if you’d come to the rim of the world 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 ...

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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... And if, like me, you are not familiar with the queer and avant-garde art worlds of southern California, 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 ...

Illuminating, horrible etc

Jenny Turner: David Foster Wallace

14 April 2011
Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace 
by David Lipsky.
Broadway, 320 pp., $16.99, 9780307592439
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The Pale King: An Unfinished Novel 
by David Foster Wallace.
Hamish Hamilton, 547 pp., £20, April 2011, 978 0 241 14480 0
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... the result that everybody hates him; there’s a character capable of such perfect attentiveness that he actually levitates from his seat. The one who gets most space is an I-voice called Irrelevant Chris Fogle, who has a lot of dull memories of having been a 1970s ‘wastoid’ – I remember KISS, REO Speedwagon, Cheap Trick, Styx, Jethro Tull, Rush, Deep Purple, and, of course, good old Pink Floyd ...

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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... wriggly, somehow, like a silky dog, Tennant has a helpless quality, which lends him great adorability. ‘My 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 ...

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