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A Pound a Glimpse

Daniel Smith: Epilepsy, 16 November 2017

A Smell of Burning: The Story of Epilepsy 
by Colin Grant.
Cape, 242 pp., £16.99, August 2016, 978 0 224 10182 0
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The End of Epilepsy? A History of the Modern Era of Epilepsy, 1860-2010 
by Dieter Schmidt and Simon Shorvon.
Oxford, 208 pp., £39.99, September 2016, 978 0 19 872590 9
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... In​ 1926, Graham Greene received a diagnosis of epilepsy. In all likelihood, he didn’t have the disorder. His only symptoms were three isolated episodes of lost consciousness: once in the school chapel at Berkhamsted; once in the London home of his psychoanalyst; and once in the offices of the Times, where he was working as an assistant editor. But the neurologist he consulted thought these episodes were sufficient grounds for the diagnosis, and the news nearly led Greene to throw himself in front of a speeding tube train ...

Call a kid a zebra

Daniel Smith: On the Spectrum, 19 May 2016

In a Different Key: The Story of Autism 
by John Donvan and Caren Zucker.
Allen Lane, 670 pp., £25, January 2016, 978 1 84614 566 7
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NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter about People Who Think Differently 
by Steve Silberman.
Allen and Unwin, 534 pp., £9.99, February 2016, 978 1 76011 364 3
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... As psychiatric concepts go,​ autism has proved uncommonly susceptible to interpretation, appropriation and expansion. And few people have done as much to influence the world’s understanding of autism as Lorna Wing, who died in 2014. For decades a member of the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, Wing was a pioneering clinician, epidemiologist and researcher ...

In the Butcher’s Shop

Peter de Bolla: Deleuze on Bacon, 23 September 2004

Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation 
by Gilles Deleuze, translated by Daniel Smith.
Continuum, 209 pp., £9.99, March 2004, 0 8264 7318 0
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... In the technical literature on aesthetics a distinction is often made between the empirical inquiry into beauty (what it is, which objects have it and so forth), and the investigation of sensory cognition. The former became subsumed in the 18th century into the theory of taste and has ever since been in the ascendant, while the latter (what Alexander Baumgarten called ‘the science of aesthetics’) has suffered mixed fortunes ...

The Collage Police

Christian Lorentzen: Ali Smith, 8 March 2018

Autumn 
by Ali Smith.
Penguin, 272 pp., £8.99, August 2017, 978 0 241 97331 8
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Winter 
by Ali Smith.
Hamish Hamilton, 336 pp., £16.99, November 2017, 978 0 241 20702 4
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... Several factors​ contribute to the innocuousness of Ali Smith’s current project. She’s now published two novels of her projected ‘Seasonal Quartet’: Autumn, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and Winter. These books don’t share characters or continuity but constitute a rapid-response literary gloss on the Brexit crisis ...

Short Cuts

James Francken: The big book prizes, 3 January 2002

... judges have dished up a perishable selection. Will Eaves’s The Oversight (Picador, £12) follows Daniel Rathbone as he progresses through a school in Bath in the 1980s and then leaves his parents’ home for life in London; it’s a funny, heartfelt story about coming out and coming of age. The best stretch in the book details the awkwardness of teenage life ...

Willesden Fast-Forward

Daniel Soar: Zadie Smith, 21 September 2000

White Teeth 
by Zadie Smith.
Hamish Hamilton, 462 pp., £12.99, January 2000, 9780241139974
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... label of NW2; there are houses that go for £800,000. It’s where White Teeth is set. Zadie Smith won a kind of lottery: £250,000 in a two-book deal, and there’s a £5 million BBC adaptation on the way. She was one of the deserving – just a step away from the prize-winning bus-driver novelist – only 23, half-Jamaican, half-English, parents ...

Tick-Tock

Malcolm Bull: Three Cheers for Apocalypse, 9 December 1999

Conversations about the End of Time 
by Umberto Eco and Stephen Jay Gould.
Allen Lane, 228 pp., £14.99, September 1999, 0 7139 9363 4
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Apocalypses: Prophesies, Cults and Millennial Beliefs throughout the Ages 
by Eugen Weber.
Hutchinson, 294 pp., £18.99, July 1999, 0 09 180134 6
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Messianic Revolution: Radical Religious Politics to the End of the Second Millennium 
by Richard Popkin and David Katz.
Allen Lane, 303 pp., £18.99, October 1999, 0 7139 9383 9
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... and find that we were ‘out of time’. But now? Well, ‘it’s here and I like it,’ as Will Smith says in his greeting card to the new year ‘Will 2K’. There isn’t much anxiety in this song, it’s time to celebrate. What exactly? The ‘Willennium’, he helpfully suggests, ‘the party of a lifetime ... resolution: get the money’. Future ...

Speaking in Tongues

Robert Crawford, 8 February 1996

The Poetry of Scotland: Gaelic, Scots and English 1380-1980 
edited and introduced by Roderick Watson.
Edinburgh, 752 pp., £19.95, May 1995, 0 7486 0607 6
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... Women Poets (1991), Douglas Dunn’s Faber Book of 20th-century Scottish Poetry (1992), and Daniel O’Rourke’s Dream State; The New Scottish Poets (1994) all offer work in the three languages, but, as their titles indicate, select from specific sectors of Scottish poetry. When we compare Watson’s volume with its main competitors, the Penguin and ...

Pénétra

Bonnie Smith, 21 May 1987

Journal of My Life 
by Jacques-Louis Ménétra, edited by Daniel Roche, translated by Arthur Goldhammer.
Columbia, 368 pp., $30, July 1986, 0 231 06128 5
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Disease and Civilisation: The Cholera in Paris, 1832 
by François Delaporte, translated by Arthur Goldhammer.
MIT, 250 pp., £22.50, July 1986, 0 262 04084 0
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France: Fin de Siècle 
by Eugen Weber.
Harvard, 294 pp., £16.94, October 1986, 0 674 31812 9
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... and laborious life: it is also about writing, rewriting and the telling of lies. According to Daniel Roche, whose hundred-page commentary could be a book in itself, Ménétra fashioned his work in several stages and, over a lifetime of composition, took it through several revisions, the last one in the Napoleonic period. What we see is the transformation ...

Diary

Hilary Gaskin: From Nuremberg to the Gulf, 25 April 1991

... lights were nine elderly men, all into their seventies or beyond. Their names were Walter Brudno, Smith Brookhart, Nick Doman, Benjamin Ferencz, Whitney Harris, Charles Horsky, Henry King, Daniel Margolies and Walter Rockler, and they had all been prosecuting lawyers at the Nuremberg Trial and Subsequent Proceedings in ...

God’s Iceberg

Mary-Kay Wilmers, 4 December 1986

The ‘ Titanic’: The Full Story of a Tragedy 
by Michael Davie.
Bodley Head, 244 pp., £12.95, October 1986, 9780370307640
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The IT Girls: Elinor Glyn and Lucy, Lady Duff Gordon 
by Meredith Etherington-Smith and Jeremy Pilcher.
Hamish Hamilton, 258 pp., £14.95, September 1986, 0 241 11950 2
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... Lower down in the boat, in the forward steerage area, water was coming in. An emigrant called Daniel Buckley jumped out of bed and soon found his feet were getting wet. He shared a cabin with three others: when he told them that water was coming in, they laughed. ‘Get back into bed,’ one of them said. ‘You’re not in Ireland now.’ August ...

Woozy

Daniel Soar: The Photographic Novel, 20 April 2006

Patrick’s Alphabet 
by Michael Symmons Roberts.
Cape, 230 pp., £10.99, March 2006, 0 224 07596 9
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... At this point his name itself seems to carry with it a shadowy memory of In Cold Blood’s Perry Smith: like Capote, Perry Scholes tries to make himself invisible, but can’t help being bound up in what he is documenting. He is also trailing Sligo. In the days after the shooting, it turns out, Sligo broke into the Bluebird shopping mall and camped inside an ...

The Mantle of Jehovah

Francis Spufford, 25 June 1987

Sugar 
by A.S. Byatt.
Chatto, 224 pp., £10.95, April 1987, 0 7011 3169 1
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... to The Virgin in the Garden declares the double – or complicatedly single – intention. Daniel, a priest, leaves an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery which has gathered, retrospectively and iconically, many of the concerns of the main action of the book, set 16 years earlier, to which we are about to be introduced. ...

Upwards and Onwards

Stefan Collini: On Raymond Williams, 31 July 2008

Raymond Williams: A Warrior’s Tale 
by Dai Smith.
Parthian, 514 pp., £25, May 2008, 978 1 905762 56 9
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... Shortly after her husband’s death, Joy Williams entrusted the task to the Welsh historian Dai Smith, who had known (and greatly admired) Williams in the last decade or so of his life, and who shared many of his political allegiances. Smith was given unrestricted access to Williams’s papers; as, in effect, the ...

Now to Stride into the Sunlight

Ian Jack: The Brexiters, 15 June 2017

What Next: How to Get the Best from Brexit 
by Daniel Hannan.
Head of Zeus, 298 pp., £9.99, November 2016, 978 1 78669 193 4
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The Bad Boys of Brexit: Tales of Mischief, Mayhem & Guerrilla Warfare in the EU Referendum Campaign 
by Arron Banks.
Biteback, 354 pp., £9.99, June 2017, 978 1 78590 205 5
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All Out War: The Full Story of How Brexit Sank Britain’s Political Class 
by Tim Shipman.
William Collins, 688 pp., £9.99, June 2017, 978 0 00 821517 0
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... adds to our losers’ despair. ‘After 43 years, we have pushed the door ajar,’ the Tory MEP Daniel Hannan writes dreamily. ‘A rectangle of light dazzles us and, as our eyes adjust, we see a summer meadow. Swallows swoop against the blue sky. We hear the gurgling of a little brook. Now to stride into the sunlight.’ This idyll comes early in ...

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