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Back to Reality

David Edgar: Arthur Miller and the Oblong Blur

18 March 2004
Arthur Miller: A Life 
by Martin Gottfried.
Faber, 484 pp., £25, October 2003, 0 571 21946 2
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... his 1991 play The Ride down Mount Morgan are worthy of joining the canon. But the most cogent defence of late Miller (or, more accurately, last two-thirds Miller) is provided by the British critic ChristopherBigsby. For Bigsby, Miller has ‘quite consciously experimented with form’, not just in the later plays but throughout his career. Writing about The Archbishop’s Ceiling of 1977 (in which a ...

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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... With his appearance at the Waldorf Conference in 1949, he effectively branded himself an un-American for years to come, while his plays began to establish social conscience at the level of style. Christopher Bigbsy, the author of this new biography, has a perfect ear for the manners and motions of Miller’s art, and he tells a gripping story of Miller’s hunt for truth. There are mysteries to bear and ...

Ruling Imbecilities

Andrew Roberts

7 November 1991
The Enemy’s Country: Words, Contexture and Other Circumstances of Language 
by Geoffrey Hill.
Oxford, 153 pp., £19.95, August 1991, 0 19 811216 5
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... there not fierce debates on these matters? In a single footnote to the first essay, Hill does make his attack on the ‘vast apparatus of Opinion’ more specific, criticising Malcolm Bradbury and ChristopherBigsby for presenting Margaret Drabble and John Le Carré as ‘most important writers’. He goes on to reproach the same critics for appealing to a ‘supposed consensus’ and for the use of the ...

Moments

Marilyn Butler

2 September 1982
The New Pelican Guide to English Literature. Vol. I: Medieval Literature Part One: Chaucer and the Alliterative Tradition, Vol. II: The Age of Shakespeare, Vol. III: From Donne to Marvell, Vol. IV: From Dryden to Johnson 
edited by Boris Ford.
Penguin, 647 pp., £2.95, March 1982, 0 14 022264 2
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Medieval Writers and their Work: Middle English Literature and its Background 
by J.A. Burrow.
Oxford, 148 pp., £9.95, May 1982, 0 19 289122 7
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Contemporary Writers Series: Saul Bellow, Joe Orton, John Fowles, Kurt Vonnegut, Seamus Heaney, Thomas Pynchon 
by Malcolm Bradbury, C.W.E. Bigsby, Peter Conradi, Jerome Klinkowitz and Blake Morrison.
Methuen, 110 pp., £1.95, May 1982, 0 416 31650 6
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... and Herzog as a novel of the Sixties and Mr Sammler’s Planet (1969) as a crisis book for a crisis year that one begins to feel he has undermined Bellow’s claim to his own royalties. C.W.E. Bigsby also sounds mechanical when he quarrels with Christopher Lasch over narcissism: ought it to be diagnosed as the vice of the Seventies, since Joe Orton’s work proves that it was endemic in the ...

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