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John Sturrock, 20 February 1986

Handbook of Russian Literature 
edited by Victor Terras.
Yale, 558 pp., £25, April 1985, 0 300 03155 6
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Verbal Art, Verbal Sign, Verbal Time 
by Roman Jakobson, edited by Krystyna Pomorska and Stephen Rudy.
Blackwell, 208 pp., £25, July 1985, 0 631 14262 2
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Historic Structures: The Prague School Project 1928-1946 
by F.W. Galan.
Croom Helm, 250 pp., £22.50, May 1985, 0 7099 3816 0
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Mikhail Bakhtin 
by Katerina Clark and Michael Holquist.
Harvard, 398 pp., £19.95, February 1985, 0 674 57416 8
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The Formal Method in Literary Scholarship: A Critical Introduction to Sociological Poetics 
by M.M. Bakhtin and P.M. Medvedev, translated by Albert Wehrle.
Harvard, 191 pp., £7.50, May 1985, 0 674 30921 9
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Dialogues between Roman Jakobson and Krystyna Pomorska 
translated by Christian Hubert.
Cambridge, 186 pp., £15, August 1983, 0 521 25113 3
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The Dialogical Principle 
by Tzvetan Todorov, translated by Wlad Godzich.
Manchester, 132 pp., £25, February 1985, 0 7190 1466 2
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Rabelais and his World 
by Mikhail Bakhtin, translated by Hélène Iswolsky.
Indiana, 484 pp., $29.50, August 1984, 0 253 20341 4
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... Roman Jakobson and Mikhail Bakhtin agree on so little as theorists of literature that they must count as alternatives. To read one and then the other, preferably Jakobson first and then Bakhtin, as a sort of anti-Jakobson, is a literary theoretical education. Where Jakobson is dry, Bakhtin is convivial; where Jakobson is technocratic, Bakhtin is impulsive; where Jakobson is magisterial, Bakhtin is a groundling ...

Jesus and Cain

Edmund Leach, 2 December 1982

The Sacred Executioner: Human Sacrifice and the Legacy of Guilt 
by Hyam Maccoby.
Thames and Hudson, 208 pp., £10.95, September 1982, 0 500 01281 4
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... I myself have made to this overcrowded field have received favourable comment from both Jewish and Christian Biblical scholars of high repute. For the most part, my views and those of Maccoby are poles apart, but on certain issues where he appears to claim originality there is a curious convergence. This may just be accident, but I feel it deserves a ...

Valorising Valentine Brown

Patricia Craig, 5 September 1985

Ascendancy and Tradition in Anglo-Irish Literary History from 1789 to 1939 
by W.J. McCormack.
Oxford, 423 pp., £27.50, June 1985, 0 19 812806 1
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Across a Roaring Hill 
edited by Gerald Dawe and Edna Longley.
Blackstaff, 258 pp., £10.95, July 1985, 0 85640 334 2
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Celtic Revivals: Essays in Modern Irish Literature 1880-1980 
by Seamus Deane.
Faber, 199 pp., £15, July 1985, 0 571 13500 5
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Escape from the Anthill 
by Hubert Butler.
Lilliput, 342 pp., £12, May 1985, 0 946640 00 9
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... keeping with the properties of the present. ‘His nationalism tottered on the brink of racism,’ Hubert Butler noted in 1968, in one of the pieces assembled in Escape from the Anthill. Deane doesn’t go as far as this in his appraisal of the architect of 1916: but he does, astutely, connect Pearse’s Gaelic revivalism with ‘what used to be called ...

God in Heaven send us peace

Peter Burke, 18 April 1985

The Thirty Years’ War 
by Geoffrey Parker.
Routledge, 340 pp., £20, January 1985, 0 7100 9788 3
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... We hear of the florid complexions and the addiction to alcohol of John George of Saxony and Christian IV of Denmark, of the ‘mouse-coloured hair’ and shrill voice of the Elector Maximilian of Bavaria, of the habitual kneeling and hunting of the Emperor Ferdinand II, of the royal bearing of Gustav Adolf of Sweden, and the pathological sensitivity to ...


Conrad Russell, 7 November 1985

F.W. Maitland 
by G.R. Elton.
Weidenfeld, 118 pp., £12.95, June 1985, 0 297 78614 8
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Renaissance Essays 
by Hugh Trevor-Roper.
Secker, 312 pp., £15, July 1985, 0 436 42511 4
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History, Society and the Churches: Essays in Honour of Owen Chadwick 
edited by Derek Beales and Geoffrey Best.
Cambridge, 335 pp., £30, May 1985, 0 521 25486 8
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... incarnation of Professor Elton. The famous comment attributed to Maitland, on Round’s review of Hubert Hall, that ‘it proves Dr Hall to be no scholar, and Mr Round to be no gentleman’ is also in a tone not characteristic of his biographer. The broad conceptual sweeps that went into writing ‘The Political Creed of Thomas Cromwell’ are also ones in ...

After Foucault

David Hoy, 1 November 1984

Philosophy in France Today 
edited by Alan Montefiore.
Cambridge, 201 pp., £20, January 1983, 0 521 22838 7
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French Literary Theory Today: A Reader 
edited by Tzvetan Todorov, translated by R. Carter.
Cambridge, 239 pp., £19.50, October 1982, 0 521 23036 5
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Histoire de la Sexualité. Vol. II: L’Usage des Plaisirs 
by Michel Foucault.
Gallimard, 285 pp., £8.25, June 1984, 2 07 070056 9
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Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics 
by Hubert Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow.
Chicago, 256 pp., $8.95, December 1983, 0 226 16312 1
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The Foucault Reader 
edited by Paul Rabinow.
Pantheon, 350 pp., $19.95, January 1985, 0 394 52904 9
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Michel Foucault and the Subversion of Intellect 
by Karlis Racevskis.
Cornell, 172 pp., £16.50, July 1983, 0 8014 1572 1
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Michel Foucault’s Archaeology of Western Culture: Toward a New Science of History 
by Pamela Major-Poetzl.
Harvester, 281 pp., £22.50, May 1983, 0 7108 0484 9
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Michel Foucault: Social Theory as Transgression 
by Charles Lemert and Garth Gillan.
Columbia, 169 pp., £8.50, January 1984, 0 231 05190 5
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Foucault, Marxism and Critique 
by Barry Smart.
Routledge, 144 pp., £5.95, September 1983, 0 7100 9533 3
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... and some go on to address the philosophical questions of the third group. None surpass the book by Hubert Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow, Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics, the first edition of which I reviewed in these pages in November 1982. This book should be obtained in the American paperback edition that contains Foucault’s ‘On the ...


Barbara Everett, 2 April 1987

... of white four-legged thing moves about in the distance. At a later stage of the story, the child, Hubert, is enough frightened and bewildered by the violences of adult sexuality to escape to seek a friend, and we meet the creature again: it turns out to be a young calf with its mother in a field, and Hubert is patiently ...

Blood Relations

J.I.M. Stewart, 1 December 1983

Diversity and Depth in Fiction: Selected Critical Writings of Angus Wilson 
edited by Kerry McSweeny.
Secker, 303 pp., £15, August 1983, 0 436 57610 4
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... to ruin an important garden party by sabotaging the refreshments, and procures a small girl for Hubert Rose, who is also very bad. In Anglo-Saxon Attitudes there is (although dead) Gilbert Stokesay, who hides a pagan and priapic object in a seventh-century Christian missionary’s tomb. I cannot myself see this as more ...

Kestrel, Burgher, Spout

Julian Bell: The Ghent Altarpiece, 16 April 2020

Van Eyck: An Optical Revolution 
edited by Till-Holger Borchert, Jan Dumolyn and Maximiliaan Martens.
Thames & Hudson, 490 pp., £60, February, 978 0 500 02345 7
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... on two of the panels, had commissioned it for their city church from his older brother, but Hubert Van Eyck (whose other work is lost) died in the project’s early stages, leaving Jan with six years of effort before the polyptych was presented in public in 1432. What had Jan (whose age at that point is uncertain: early forties, perhaps) been up to ...

The Chief Inhabitant

Diarmaid MacCulloch: Jerusalem, 14 July 2011

Jerusalem: The Biography 
by Simon Sebag Montefiore.
Weidenfeld, 638 pp., £25, January 2011, 978 0 297 85265 0
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... Church of the Holy Sepulchre, or the outward appearance of the Dome of the Rock, which Christian tour-guides in Jerusalem then confidently pointed out to pilgrims as the Temple of Solomon. In more Protestant mood, you could linger in Norwich, where 17th-century Congregationalists endowed the façade of their elegant Old Meeting House with echoes of ...

‘My God was bigger than his’

Colin Kidd: The Republicans, 4 November 2004

The Right Nation: Why America Is Different 
by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge.
Allen Lane, 450 pp., £14.99, August 2004, 0 7139 9738 9
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Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet 
by James Mann.
Penguin, 448 pp., $16, September 2004, 0 14 303489 8
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Nixon’s Shadow: The History of an Image 
by David Greenberg.
Norton, 496 pp., £9.99, November 2004, 0 393 32616 0
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America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism 
by Anatol Lieven.
HarperCollins, 274 pp., £18.99, October 2004, 0 00 716456 4
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... of the culture wars and in George W. Bush’s clear identification with the militancy of the Christian Right. Bush plausibly and successfully campaigns as the Christian plain man voicing the grievances of the common people against the pampered liberalism of an elite typified by John Kerry, though both Bush and Kerry ...

One Enormous Room

Diarmaid MacCulloch: Council of Trent, 9 May 2013

Trent: What Happened at the Council 
by John O’Malley.
Harvard, 335 pp., £20, January 2013, 978 0 674 06697 7
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... have been either too short, or too long for non-specialists: the four-volume German account by Hubert Jedin (in innumerable ways admirable) proved too exhausting after two volumes for Anglophone publishers to translate the rest. The difference the Council of Trent made to the history and ethos of the Catholic Church can be gauged by the successive and ...

Mediterranean Man

R.W. Johnson, 16 October 1997

Albert Camus: A Life 
by Olivier Todd, translated by Benjamin Ivry.
Chatto, 420 pp., £20, October 1997, 0 7011 6062 4
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... my mother before justice.’ This produced a further explosion. ‘I was totally sure,’ remarked Hubert Beuve-Méry, the editor of Le Monde, ‘that Camus would say some fucking fool thing.’ Sartre and Beauvoir’s response was very similar – they had long ceased to be on speaking terms with Camus because of his ‘reactionary’ tendencies. The ...

Mother Country

Catherine Hall: The Hostile Environment, 23 January 2020

The Windrush Betrayal: Exposing the Hostile Environment 
by Amelia Gentleman.
Guardian Faber, 336 pp., £18.99, September 2019, 978 1 78335 184 8
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Homecoming: Voices of the Windrush Generation 
by Colin Grant.
Cape, 320 pp., £18.99, October 2019, 978 1 78733 105 1
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Hostile Environment: How Immigrants Become Scapegoats 
by Maya Goodfellow.
Verso, 272 pp., £12.99, November 2019, 978 1 78873 336 6
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... had employed slave-hunters to capture Somerset and put him on a boat for Jamaica. A baptised Christian, Somerset was able to appeal for support and a writ of habeas corpus was secured for his release. He went to Granville Sharp, who agreed to take the case. Sharp was concerned with the legality of slavery in England and especially troubled by ...

Strait is the gate

Christopher Hitchens, 21 July 1994

Watergate: The Corruption and Fall of Richard Nixon 
by Fred Emery.
Cape, 448 pp., £20, May 1994, 0 224 03694 7
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The Haldeman Diaries: Inside the Nixon White House 
by H.R. Haldeman.
Putnam, 698 pp., $27.50, May 1994, 0 399 13962 1
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... to the President in 1991, Nixon set up a ‘back-channel’ in order to subvert Lyndon Johnson and Hubert Humphrey. By the simple expedient of going behind the Administration’s back, and of promising the South Vietnamese junta a better deal from an incoming Republican administration, Nixon and his advisers were able to get the South Vietnamese to withdraw ...

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