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Into the Eisenshpritz

Elif Batuman: Superheroes, 10 April 2008

Life, in Pictures: Autobiographical Stories 
by Will Eisner.
Norton, 493 pp., £18.99, November 2007, 978 0 393 06107 9
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Epileptic 
by David B..
Cape, 368 pp., £12.99, March 2006, 0 224 07920 4
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Shortcomings 
by Adrian Tomine.
Faber, 108 pp., £12.99, September 2007, 978 0 571 23329 8
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Misery Loves Comedy 
by Ivan Brunetti.
Fantagraphics, 172 pp., £15.99, April 2007, 978 1 56097 792 6
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... Superman not by his ability to freeze objects by blowing on them but by his second life as Clark Kent. In an essay on Superman, Umberto Eco characterised superhero comics generically as an amalgam of ‘mythopoeic’ and ‘novelistic’ narratives: Superman is simultaneously an epic-eternal hero who exists outside time (the Man of Steel), and a ...

Into the sunset

Peter Clarke, 30 August 1990

Ideas and Politics in Modern Britain 
edited by J.C.D. Clark.
Macmillan, 271 pp., £40, July 1990, 0 333 51550 1
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The Philosopher on Dover Beach 
by Roger Scruton.
Carcanet, 344 pp., £18.95, June 1990, 0 85635 857 6
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... own domain, are turning into another sunset home. In this spirit one can commiserate with J.C.D. Clark, as editor of the volume of essays, Ideas and Politics in Modern Britain, which was clearly intended as a tract for the times and has ended up as a period piece. In the nature of things, the essays had to be written some time back – that by John Redwood ...

In a Dark Mode

Lawrence Rainey: Grim Modernism, 20 January 2000

Farewell to an Idea: Episodes from a History of Modernism 
by T.J. Clark.
Yale, 451 pp., £30, April 1999, 0 300 07532 4
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... in the summer of 1912, or is it a mad altarpiece of some sort, ‘an unholy polyptych’, as T.J. Clark calls it, with its wings unfolded as if ‘for Easter or Pentecost’, the ensemble crowned by The Poet, ‘raised high in place of the pantocrator’? And what should we make of this mixture of farce and metaphysics, a mixture raffishly recapitulated in ...

It took a Scot

Colin Kidd: English Nationalism, 30 July 2015

The Formation of the English Kingdom in the Tenth Century 
by George Molyneaux.
Oxford, 302 pp., £65, May 2015, 978 0 19 871791 1
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The English and Their History 
by Robert Tombs.
Allen Lane, 1012 pp., £14.99, June 2015, 978 0 14 103165 1
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Conquests, Catastrophe and Recovery: Britain and Ireland 1066-1485 
by John Gillingham.
Vintage, 345 pp., £10.99, October 2014, 978 0 09 956324 2
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From Restoration to Reform: The British Isles 1660-1832 
by Jonathan Clark.
Vintage, 364 pp., £10.99, October 2014, 978 0 09 956323 5
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Britain since 1900: A Success Story? 
by Robert Skidelsky.
Vintage, 472 pp., £10.99, October 2014, 978 0 09 957239 8
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... frontiers in the making of nations. If Henry of Northumbria had not predeceased his father, King David I of Scotland, in 1152, Britain might have been divided at the Humber into two more equally sized political units, the kingdom of Greater Scotland (incorporating northern England) and the kingdom of Little England (made up of the midlands and south). Not ...

Sea Creatures

Peter Campbell, 23 July 1987

Sidney Nolan: Such is life 
by Brian Adams.
Hutchinson, 275 pp., £16.95, June 1987, 0 09 168430 7
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Andrew Wyeth: The Helga Pictures 
by John Wilmerding.
Viking, 208 pp., £25, September 1987, 9780670817665
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Faces 1966-1984 
by David Hockney and Marco Livingstone.
Thames and Hudson, 96 pp., £8.95, June 1987, 0 500 27464 9
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... John Reed’s sister, Cynthia. He married her in 1948. His reputation began to flourish. Kenneth Clark was struck by one of his paintings in a group exhibition and suggested he would do well in England. It was good advice, and Nolan became an established artist in Europe. His working life became a series of journeys, sometimes back to Australia, but also to ...

Big Daddy

Linda Nochlin, 30 October 1997

American Visions: The Epic History of Art in America 
by Robert Hughes.
Harvill, 635 pp., £35, October 1997, 9781860463723
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... the style of an art historian or critic and that of his or her favourite artist. Reading Tim Clark on Courbet, it is easy to see the reasons why the writer chose his subject: iconoclasm, a bold and aggressive rejection of stylistic precedence and traditional modes of expression are common to both. In the case of Robert Hughes, author of the monumental ...

Hink Tank

Nicholas Penny, 19 July 1984

The Gymnasium of the Mind: The Journals of Roger Hinks 1933-1963 
edited by John Goldsmith.
Michael Russell, 287 pp., £10.95, May 1984, 0 85955 096 6
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... disappointments and, less often, consolations. Even during what his friend K (the late Lord Clark) describes in the foreword as ‘the abominable intrigue which forced him to leave his beloved British Museum’, he scrupulously avoids self-pity. But self-satisfaction and self-righteousness were certainly not purged by keeping the journal. His ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: Ulysses v. O.J. Simpson, 28 July 2016

... me – as if I needed reminding – that real life is the poor, lost cousin of pretence. Marcia Clark, the lead prosecutor in the Simpson case, is a shy person in life, studious, you might say. She did, it’s true, make some mistakes in presenting the case. But the main issue seems to be her hair. (The series producer, Ryan Murphy, is the magician who ...

Somewhere else

Rosalind Mitchison, 19 May 1988

The Peopling of British North America: An Introduction 
by Bernard Bailyn.
Tauris, 177 pp., £12.95, April 1987, 1 85043 037 3
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Voyagers to the West: Emigration from Britain to America on the Eve of the Revolution 
by Bernard Bailyn.
Tauris, 668 pp., £29.50, April 1987, 1 85043 038 1
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Migration and Society in Early Modern England 
edited by Peter Clark and David Souden.
Hutchinson, 355 pp., £25, February 1988, 0 09 173220 4
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Gypsy-Travellers in 19th-Century Society 
by David Mayall.
Cambridge, 261 pp., £25, February 1988, 0 521 32397 5
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... in point of readability and excitement. The essays, mostly for the 17th century, edited by Peter Clark and David Souden are not all new work They include an important reprinted article on age-specific mobility in England by Roger Schofield, the well-known study of Cardington in the 1780s. They also include an article of ...

At Tate Britain

T.J. Clark: Paul Nash , 2 February 2017

... to change the form of words slightly, seem to me pictures of Jerusalem, Toledo and Andalusia by David Bomberg. (It is no doubt hard to look past subsequent history and accept Bomberg’s Zionism for the strange thing it was, but paintings like his Pool of Hezekiah and Rooftops, Jerusalem are as close to Corot in Italy or Seurat at Gravelines as anyone since ...

Balls and Strikes

Charles Reeve: Clement Greenberg, 5 April 2007

Art Czar: The Rise and Fall of Clement Greenberg 
by Alice Goldfarb Marquis.
Lund Humphries, 321 pp., £25, April 2006, 0 85331 940 5
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... of his collection that Greenberg didn’t miss the art he sold, but surely he winced as works by David Smith, Jackson Pollock or Morris Louis went out the door.* His enthusiasm for these artists, particularly Noland and Louis, undercuts the common misperception that he saw purity and flatness as modern art’s defining achievement. Greenberg came to distance ...

Montgomeries

David Fraser, 22 December 1983

Monty. Vol. II: Master of the Battlefield 1942-1944 
by Nigel Hamilton.
Hamish Hamilton, 863 pp., £12.95, October 1983, 0 241 11104 8
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Decision in Normandy: The Unwritten Story of Montgomery and the Allied Campaign 
by Carlo D’Este.
Collins, 555 pp., £12.95, October 1983, 0 00 217056 6
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... Army had to run in double harness with an American army – Patton’s Seventh in Sicily, Clark’s Fifth in Italy. Monty reckoned that these colleagues had much to learn about war and that he was the best person to teach it. It was not surprising that they saw matters differently. Increasingly, Monty’s consciousness of being the sole repository of ...

I could have fancied her

Angela Carter, 16 February 1989

Beauty in History: Society, Politics and Personal Appearance c. 1500 to the Present 
by Arthur Marwick.
Thames and Hudson, 480 pp., £18.95, September 1988, 0 500 25101 0
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... I enjoyed rather more than did your contributor, Janet Watts (LRB, 8 December 1988), Kenneth Clark published a contribution to art history called The Nude. A disgruntled friend of mine opined that if the author had any integrity, he’d have started off his opus: ‘Wankers, ahoy!’ (Oh, the jaunty irreverence of those days of intellectual ferment, and ...

False Moderacy

T.J. Clark: Picasso and Modern British Art, 22 March 2012

Picasso and Modern British Art 
Tate Britain, 15 February 2012 to 15 July 2012Show More
Mondrian Nicholson: In Parallel 
Courtauld Gallery, 16 February 2012 to 20 May 2012Show More
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... modern art culture – Arshile Gorky, Willem de Kooning, Krasner, Hans Hofmann, the sculptor David Smith – which had spent a decade submitting to the master. ‘Aha,’ Gorky is supposed to have said coldly to de Kooning on first being shown the younger artist’s Picasso-saturated work, ‘so you have ideas of your own.’ Picasso’s aren’t good ...

God bless Italy

Christopher Clark: Rome, Vienna, 1848, 10 May 2018

The Pope Who Would Be King: The Exile of Pius IX and the Emergence of Modern Europe 
by David I. Kertzer.
Oxford, 474 pp., £25, May 2018, 978 0 19 882749 8
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... exile was a traumatic experience, whose grip on his personality would tighten over the years. As David Kertzer shows in this subtle and brilliantly told account, the exile of Pius IX was an event that shaped modern Europe. The revolution that broke out in Rome in the spring of 1848 had begun not with protests, but with jubilation. Little was known of ...

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