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Fast Water off the Bow-Wave

Jeremy Harding: George Oppen, 21 June 2018

21 Poems 
byGeorge Oppen, edited byDavid B. Hobbs.
New Directions, 48 pp., £7.99, September 2017, 978 0 8112 2691 2
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... We​ had seen bare land/And the people bare on it’: two lines from a retrospective poem by George Oppen that appeared in 1963 in a small magazine published out of New Rochelle, the poet’s birthplace. Oppen (b. 1908) had recently broken a long silence and become a poet of his time – the 1960s and 1970s – however much he may have insisted, as he did in the same poem, that he was ‘of the Thirties ...

Das Nuffa Dat and BigGloria3

Elaine Showalter: Up and Down the Academic Ladder, 1 November 2001

Academic Instincts 
byMarjorie Garber.
Princeton, 187 pp., £11.95, February 2001, 9780691049700
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Postmodern Pooh 
byFrederick Crews.
North Point, 175 pp., $22, October 2001, 0 86547 626 8
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... English in the American academy. If anyone qualifies as an expert on academic instincts, it must be Marjorie Garber. She has been aptly described by the New York Times as ‘one of the most powerful women in the academic world’, and in Prospect as ‘the reigning queen of cultural studies’. In a career that spans ...

A Perfect Eel

Elaine Showalter: ‘Lady Audley’s Secret’, 21 June 2012

Lady Audley’s Secret 
byMary Elizabeth Braddon, edited byLyn Pykett.
Oxford, 448 pp., £9.99, January 2012, 978 0 19 957703 3
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... led to its publication as a three-volume novel in October 1862, under the name M.E. Braddon. By December, Lady Audley’s Secret had gone through eight editions, and Braddon’s tale of false identities, desertion, detection, bigamy, blackmail, arson, madness and murder had brought her celebrity and become the template for a genre. ...

Loaded Dice

Thomas Chatterton Williams: Ta-Nehisi Coates, 3 December 2015

Between the World and Me 
byTa-Nehisi Coates.
Text, 152 pp., £10.99, September 2015, 978 1 925240 70 2
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... Yet it’s also hard to deny that the institutions of US society unfailingly worked for him. Jeff Hobbs, who was Peace’s roommate at Yale, shows that at every stage of Peace’s life, his gifts were not just recognised but cultivated. He may have started selling marijuana to help his mother pay the rent, but his family didn’t have the crippling debts that ...

Hinsley’s History

Noël Annan, 1 August 1985

Diplomacy and Intelligence during the Second World War: Essays in Honour of F.H. Hinsley 
edited byRichard Langhorne.
Cambridge, 329 pp., £27.50, May 1985, 0 521 26840 0
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British Intelligence and the Second World War. Vol. I: 1939-Summer 1941, Vol. II: Mid-1941-Mid-1943, Vol. III, Part I: June 1943-June 1944 
byF.H. Hinsley, E.E. Thomas, C.F.G. Ransom and R.C. Knight.
HMSO, 616 pp., £12.95, September 1979, 0 11 630933 4
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... deliberate cover enabling him to suborn those politically committed to the left. (As will be seen, King’s has a tradition of involvement with the Secret Service: Sir Francis Walsingham ran it for Elizabeth I.) Today the hounds are in pursuit of Andrew Gow, the Classical scholar and art collector who was Blunt’s mentor at Trinity. Gow, who had ...

Stuck on the Flypaper

Frances Stonor Saunders: The Hobsbawm File, 8 April 2015

... January, Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany. On 24 February, the police, augmented by the newly enrolled ‘auxiliary police’ of stormtroopers grouped under such edifying names as the Robbers and the Pimp’s Brigade, raided Karl Liebknecht Haus. In anticipation of this, the KPD had been exfiltrating its records to private addresses. Its top ...

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