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Hang Santa

Wendy Doniger, 16 December 1993

Unwrapping Christmas 
edited by Daniel Miller.
Oxford, 239 pp., £25, November 1993, 0 19 827903 5
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... follow the structuralist Claude Lévi-Strauss, literally – an essay by him comes first, after Daniel Miller’s introduction – and, in varying degrees, intellectually. What they discover when they unwrap Christmas present – Christmas now, throughout the world – are the human structures of the cover-up, disguising, beneath a number of hilarious ...

Unhappy Man

P.N. Furbank, 22 July 1993

The Lives of Michel Foucault 
by David Macey.
Hutchinson, 599 pp., £20, June 1993, 0 09 175344 9
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The Passion of Michel Foucault 
by James Miller.
HarperCollins, 491 pp., £18, June 1993, 0 00 255267 1
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... that it reinstated a godlike Cartesian cogito. ‘From the theoretical point of view,’ James Miller quotes him as saying, ‘Sartre avoids the idea of the self as something which is given to us; but through the moral notion of authenticity, he turns back to the idea that we have to be ourselves – to be truly our self.’ One feels inclined to stand up ...

Always Smiling

Paul Mendez: ‘Real Life’, 19 November 2020

Real Life 
by Brandon Taylor.
Daunt, 327 pp., £9.99, July, 978 1 911547 74 7
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... remind Wallace of his ruined plates in the lab, and keep him from looking directly at his friend Miller, whose growing attachment to Wallace governs the weekend’s action.We learn right away, almost offhand, that Wallace’s estranged father has recently died from cancer, and that Wallace didn’t feel able, or couldn’t be bothered, to travel back south ...

Northern Laughter

Karl Miller: Macrone on Scott, 10 October 2013

The Life of Sir Walter Scott 
by John Macrone, edited by Daniel Grader.
Edinburgh, 156 pp., £65, February 2013, 978 0 7486 6991 2
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... in Canada. So now we know what we have been missing, or not missing. The editor of this book, Daniel Grader, sees Macrone as hailing from Scotland, on the say-so of the poet Thomas Moore; others favour the Isle of Man. Hogg met him when he was working as a shopman in Mayfair, and was then published by Macrone when Macrone went into partnership with James ...


Karl Miller: Sponsored by the Arts Council, 24 January 1985

... published: it was submitted to the Cambridge undergraduate magazine Granta under the pseudonym Daniel Hearing. Having published this, and then a number of other poems by him, I was taken to task by one of the best of the English dons and told with a smile that Ted was a delightful chap but that this stuff of his would never do. Well, I don’t doubt he ...

Oh God, can we face it?

Daniel Finn: ‘The BBC’s Irish Troubles’, 19 May 2016

The BBC’s ‘Irish Troubles’: Television, Conflict and Northern Ireland 
by Robert Savage.
Manchester, 298 pp., £70, May 2015, 978 0 7190 8733 2
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... presented in his account, and in those of pioneering media critics such as Liz Curtis and David Miller, suggest that a more critical verdict would not be out of place.* The early years of broadcasting in Northern Ireland had been safe and somnolent, as Savage describes. After BBC Northern Ireland was established between the wars, its directors quickly took ...


Sherry Turkle: Lacan and Co, 6 December 1990

Jacques Lacan and Co: A History of Psychoanalysis in France, 1925-1985 
by Elisabeth Roudinesco, translated by Jeffrey Mehlman.
Free Association, 816 pp., £25, December 1990, 9781853431630
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... way across the Atlantic to be reported in the New Yorker – of Lacan putting the student leader Daniel Cohn-Bendit in the back of his own Jaguar and successfully smuggling him across the border into Germany. Like all myths, the story speaks its own truth. By the end of the Sixties, what had been a small psychoanalytic movement, theoretically rich but ...

On the Shelf

Tom Crewe: Mrs Oliphant, 16 July 2020

... Women have always written about men,’ Jane Miller remarks in Women Writing about Men (1986),but they have needed to be extremely circumspect about doing so. To read as a woman is to confront that circumspection as a mode of being and a kind of language … Of course, I too want to hear what women writers have been telling us about women ...

Literary Supplements

Karl Miller, 21 March 1991

by Denis Donoghue.
Cape, 193 pp., £12.99, March 1991, 0 224 03084 1
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Darkness Visible 
by William Styron.
Cape, 84 pp., £8.99, March 1991, 0 224 03045 0
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... the annotations of the professor and man of letters. I don’t mean to do as the Leavises did with Daniel Deronda and propose a Solomonic severance: let’s just say that many readers would be very sorry to lose the memories if it were to come to a cut. The father did not talk much, or read much, or go to the pictures. This was a Solomon whose wisdom did not ...

The Ballad of Andy and Rebekah

Martin Hickman: The Phone Hackers, 17 July 2014

... skill at hacking and that he played his new editor a voicemail hacked from the phone of the actor Daniel Craig. According to Evans, after hearing the message, left by Sienna Miller, Coulson exclaimed ‘Brilliant,’ while another executive told him: ‘You’re a company man now.’ For days, Langdale pounded Evans: he was ...

Onitsha Home Movies

Adewale Maja-Pearce: Nigerian films, 10 May 2001

... favour dazzling frocks and delicate sensibilities. The heroine of Rosemary and the Taxi-Driver by Miller O. Albert has both in abundance: If there was a prize to be awarded for falling in love at first blush, Rosemary would have been given the richest gold medal. She had been chasing around the romantic seaport of Lagos, with her flareful flush of ...


Ian Hacking, 11 June 1992

First Person Plural: Multiple Personality and the Philosophy of Mind 
by Stephen Braude.
Routledge, 283 pp., £35, October 1991, 0 415 03591 0
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... the London Review, and analysed in that amazingly many-layered book Doubles by its co-editor, Karl Miller. But something new and strange has been happening in North America – a veritable epidemic of multiple personalities. It began about 1972. It was called an epidemic by one psychiatrist in an essay published in 1982. By 1992 the disorder is ...


Frank Kermode: Everybody loves the OED, 20 April 1989

... mentioned, but with a decent fervour all the same. Certainly all the speakers loved it, not least Daniel Boorstin, ex-Librarian of Congress, who came right out with it, in so many words. Could they have felt this way about a non-typographical database? Were we not loving, as it were by proxy, the dear old hot-metal version? I speculated that there would never ...

Apocalypse Now and Then

Frank Kermode, 25 October 1979

The Second Coming: Popular Millenarianism 1780-1850 
by J.F.C. Harrison.
Routledge, 277 pp., £9.95
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... doubt that the forms of it that have prevailed in our culture were established by the Bible – by Daniel, Revelation, and the ‘little apocalypse’ of Mark and the other synoptics. Scholars still argue about the exact sense of the word ‘apocalyptic’ as it applies to the first Christians, but nobody doubts that the religion is apocalyptic, nor that it ...

An American Genius

Patrick Parrinder, 21 November 1991

The Runaway Soul 
by Harold Brodkey.
Cape, 835 pp., £15.99, November 1991, 0 224 03001 9
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... Faulkner nor Hemingway had quite managed it, and Henry James had defected to England. From Henry Miller to J.D. Salinger, any aspiring genius who did not have a shot at it was not doing his duty by Uncle Sam. The truth is, of course, that the GAN had long been written – for what is Moby Dick if not the Great White Whale as put down on paper by the Great ...

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