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Inside the Barrel

Brent Hayes Edwards: The French Slave Trade

10 September 2009
Memoires des esclavages: la fondation d’un centre national pour la memoire des esclavages et de leurs abolitions 
by Edouard Glissant.
Gallimard, 192 pp., €14.90, May 2007, 978 2 07 078554 4
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The French Atlantic Triangle: Literature and Culture of the Slave Trade 
by Christopher Miller.
Duke, 571 pp., £20.99, March 2008, 978 0 8223 4151 2
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... to the Loi Taubira or the debates it has brought about in Britain or the United States; it’s hard, too, to imagine Toni Morrison or Caryl Phillips being asked to take charge of such matters. As ChristopherMiller points out in The French Atlantic Triangle, in France ‘literature was one of the most important battlegrounds for the debate on slavery.’ But in spite of the wealth of scholarship on the ...

Horrible Dead Years

Christopher​ Prendergast

24 March 1994
Baudelaire 
by Joanna Richardson.
Murray, 602 pp., £30, March 1994, 0 7195 4813 6
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... as having something to do with the larger forces and configurations of the 19th-century world. One would have thought, for example, that, after Edward Said’s Orientalism and the important work of ChristopherMiller on Baudelairean ‘exoticism’, the youthful trip to the Ile de la Réunion would have produced something more analytically strenuous than references to ‘his Oriental odyssey ...

Back to Reality

David Edgar: Arthur Miller​ and the Oblong Blur

18 March 2004
Arthur MillerA Life 
by Martin Gottfried.
Faber, 484 pp., £25, October 2003, 0 571 21946 2
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... In his 1987 autobiography, Arthur Miller tells of a conversation with a Kentucky farmer about the Holy Ghost. Pressed to give a definition of the most mysterious element in the Trinity, the farmer replied: ‘I figure it’s sort of an ...

Artovsky Millensky

Andrew O’Hagan: The Misfit

1 January 2009
Arthur Miller, 1915-62 
by Christopher​ Bigsby.
Weidenfeld, 739 pp., £30, November 2008, 978 0 297 85441 8
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... Even as late as the 1950s, at the height of his fame as a playwright, Arthur Miller would periodically leave his nice house to hang around the dockyards. He had worked for two years in the 1930s at a car parts warehouse, where he first encountered anti-semitism and suspicion ...

On Richard Hollis

Christopher​ Turner: Richard Hollis

24 May 2018
... exhibitions of the work of Donald Judd, Patrick Heron, Richard Long and David Hockney. When Hockney drew a portrait of Glazebrook, he chose to represent him with Hollis’s 1970 catalogue in his lap. Christopher Wilson’s excellent Richard Hollis Designs for the Whitechapel, the final book from Hyphen Press, is not only a detailed analysis of the work of Hollis, with whom Wilson collaborated from 1999 to ...

About Myself

Liam McIlvanney: James Hogg

18 November 2004
The Electric Shepherd: A Likeness of James Hogg 
by Karl Miller.
Faber, 401 pp., £25, August 2003, 0 571 21816 4
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Altrive Tales 
by James Hogg, edited by Gillian Hughes.
Edinburgh, 293 pp., £40, July 2003, 0 7486 1893 7
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... or so in the Noctes Ambrosianae, a fictional symposium that ran in the paper between 1822 and 1835. The author of the Noctes was John Wilson, who constructed dialogues between his own alter ego (‘Christopher North’) and that of Hogg (‘the Shepherd’). The Shepherd gets the best lines – better, some have suggested, than anything Hogg ever wrote – but he is also made to look a ‘boozing buffoon ...

English Changing

Frank Kermode

7 February 1980
The State of the Language 
edited by Leonard Michaels and Christopher​ Ricks.
California, 609 pp., £14.95, January 1980, 0 520 03763 4
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... slow the rate of change is a good thing; it is in the interest of keeping up communication. There are, however, professors of literature who think we should rather go along with or encourage change. Christopher Ricks writes on clichés, contesting the common view that their prevalence is a sign of decadence: since we can’t beat them, he says, we ought to join them, or rather change them and use them in ...

Montereale

Christopher​ Hill

6 November 1980
The Cheese and the Worms: the Cosmos of a 16th-Century Miller 
by Carlo Ginzburg, translated by John Tedeschi and Anne Tedeschi.
Routledge, 177 pp., £7.95, October 1980, 0 7100 0591 1
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... the surface. In Montaillou Le Roy Ladurie utilised one lucky cache of evidence. Professor Ginzburg has found another. Domenico Scandella, known as Menocchio, lived from 1532 to 1599 or 1600. He was a miller, who spent nearly all his life in Montereale, a small hill town in the Friuli, part of the Venetian republic. The occupation of miller set Menocchio apart. ‘The mill was a place of meeting, of ...

Taking sides

Karl Miller

17 April 1980
W.H. Auden: The Life of a Poet 
by Charles Osborne.
Eyre Methuen, 336 pp., £7.95, March 1980, 0 413 39670 3
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... chief source – of scandalous passages in the lives of writers, and Mr Osborne certainly provides plenty of items relating to the poet’s promiscuous sex life: at the same time, he observes what Christopher Ricks has identified as an honourable Victorian reticence as to the inner life and motives of his subject. In other words, his way with facts is such that reticence and candour meet, and that, apart ...

Diary

Frank Kermode: Everybody loves the OED

20 April 1989
... great work under page-three girl.) Along the way Bradbury, though seeming very relaxed, dropped a reference to a work of his own, and also a parapraxis (‘my own mother, Rates of Exchange’) which Christopher Ricks, come all the way from Boston to perform an unjetlagged, nay virtuoso lexical dance before the ark, dexterously picked up and developed in a perfectly smooth improvisation.It emerged that ...

Demi-Paradises

Gabriele Annan

7 June 1984
Milady Vine: The Autobiography of Philippe de Rothschild 
edited by Joan Littlewood.
Cape, 247 pp., £10.95, June 1984, 0 224 02208 3
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I meant to marry him: A Personal Memoir 
by Jean MacGibbon.
Gollancz, 182 pp., £10.95, May 1984, 0 575 03412 2
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... Imagine a mixture of Maurice Chevalier (Gallic charm), Max Miller (the Cheeky Chappie), and Don Juan, with a boastful list of sexual conquests on which contesse, baronesse, marchesine, principesse line up with famous literary and theatrical ladies as well as top ...

The Wrong Blond

Alan Bennett

23 May 1985
Auden in Love 
by Dorothy Farnan.
Faber, 264 pp., £9.95, March 1985, 0 571 13399 1
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... look for – the ideal companion to whom you can reveal yourself totally and yet be loved for what you are, not what you pretend to be. You, Wystan, will find him very soon, within three months. You, Christopher, will have to wait much longer for yours ... At present he is only four years old.If looking for Mr Right was what it was, this celebrated voyage that put paid to a decade, it was lucky that Auden ...

On Thatcher

Karl Miller

25 April 2013
... Margaret Thatcher is the third most written about person in the ‘LRB’ archive, after Shakespeare and Freud. Here Karl Miller’s memories of the paper in her day are accompanied by extracts from some of the pieces published at the time. On the morning Margaret Thatcher’s death was announced, the lesser lights of ...

It’s Been a Lot of Fun

David Runciman: Hitchens’s Hitchens

24 June 2010
Hitch-22: A Memoir 
by Christopher​ Hitchens.
Atlantic, 435 pp., £20, June 2010, 978 1 84354 921 5
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... In his book about religion, Peter Hitchens has a lot more to say about his brother Christopher than Christopher has to say about Peter in his book about himself.* ‘Some brothers get on,’ Peter writes mournfully, ‘some do not. We were the sort that just didn’t.’ He continues: At one stage – I was ...
25 October 1979
The Second Coming: Popular Millenarianism 1780-1850 
by J.F.C. Harrison.
Routledge, 277 pp., £9.95
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... Thanks to​ the work of Norman Cohn, Christopher Hill, Eric Hobsbawm, Keith Thomas and others, we have, over the past few years, acquired a lot of information about millenarianism as a social and historical force. The belief that the end is nigh ...

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