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Leave off saying I want you to be savages

Sandra Gilbert: D.H. Lawrence, 19 March 1998

D.H. Lawrence: Dying Game 1922-30 
by David Ellis.
Cambridge, 814 pp., £25, January 1998, 0 521 25421 3
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... countless critical treatises, and even apart from his still oddly scandalous paintings at which, David Ellis reports, 13,000 visitors to London’s Warren Gallery gawked in the early summer of 1929, he was a figure of extraordinary fascination, even during his lifetime. Paradoxically, then, to contemplate works by the author of that famous critical ...

Stag at Bay

Adam Phillips: Byron in Geneva, 25 August 2011

Byron in Geneva: That Summer of 1816 
by David Ellis.
Liverpool, 189 pp., £25, September 2011, 978 1 84631 643 2
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... as if they/Could master all things.’ All this has a bearing on the before and after story that David Ellis wants us to take more seriously as the real story of Byron’s life. In Ellis’s view the summer of 1816, which he spent in Geneva, marked a turning point in Byron’s life. He was, ...

As if Life Depended on It

John Mullan: With the Leavisites, 12 September 2013

Memoirs of a Leavisite: The Decline and Fall of Cambridge English 
by David Ellis.
Liverpool, 151 pp., £25, April 2013, 978 1 84631 889 4
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English as a Vocation: The ‘Scrutiny’ Movement 
by Christopher Hilliard.
Oxford, 298 pp., £57, May 2012, 978 0 19 969517 1
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The Two Cultures? The Significance of C.P. Snow 
by F.R. Leavis.
Cambridge, 118 pp., £10.99, August 2013, 978 1 107 61735 3
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... post 13 years earlier. He died, aged 82, only six months after I glimpsed him. On the cover of David Ellis’s Memoirs of a Leavisite he is photographed standing with a tree and a bench behind him in (according to the jacket info) the very garden into which he escaped that autumn afternoon. He is wearing the same literary-critical uniform too: the ...

Mr Trendy Sicko

James Wolcott, 23 May 2019

White 
by Brett Easton Ellis.
Picador, 261 pp., £16.99, May 2019, 978 1 5290 1239 2
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... tough keeping track of all the debutantes promenading into print and creating a stir: Donna Tartt, David Leavitt, Mary Gaitskill, Lorrie Moore, Amy Hempel, Nancy Lemann, Susan Minot, Mary Robison, Anderson Ferrell – a cast of dozens. Many of those rookies trained at the literary dojo of the author, editor, creative writing teacher and guru-mentor-mindgamer ...

More than one world

P.N. Furbank, 5 December 1991

D.H. Lawrence: The Early Years 1885-1912 
by John Worthen.
Cambridge, 624 pp., £25, September 1991, 0 521 25419 1
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The Letters of D.H. Lawrence. Vol. VI: 1927-28 
edited by James Boulton, Margaret Boulton and Gerald Lacy.
Cambridge, 645 pp., £50, September 1991, 0 521 23115 9
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... book (about 260,000 words by my rough count), and one has the prospect of two more long books (the David Ellis and Mark Kinkead-Weekes ones) looming up awesomely over the first crest: but Richard Ellmann’s James Joyce was a very long book indeed, and it gripped one from start to finish. I think the answer may be, partly, that a biography simply has to ...

Praise for the Hands

Jeremy Harding: Rugby’s Early Years, 18 October 2007

The Original Rules of Rugby 
edited by Jed Smith.
Bodleian, 64 pp., £5.99, September 2007, 978 1 85124 371 6
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... can say you are.’ As with the opposition, the toilet doors ‘bang increasingly frequently’. David Kirk, acting captain from the start of the tournament: ‘Remember, you’re the All Blacks. You carry with you the memory of the past. That’s a force.’ Andy Dalton, the nominated captain who failed to play a single match because of a training ...

The Raging Peloton

Iain Sinclair: Boris Bikes, 20 January 2011

... thanks to propaganda campaigns spearheaded by Bullingdon Club toffs like Boris Johnson and David Cameron, underwent significant revision. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the horse path alongside the Regent’s Canal was mud, and forbidden to pedestrians and cyclists alike, I rode to my gardening job in Limehouse on a market wreck bought for ...

Bad Character

Andrew O’Hagan: Saul Bellow, 20 May 2015

The Life of Saul Bellow: To Fame and Fortune, 1915-64 
by Zachary Leader.
Cape, 812 pp., £35, May 2015, 978 0 224 08467 3
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... outstripped anyone’s claim to possess their own story. Here he is writing to his oldest friend, David Peltz, who is thinly fictionalised as Woody Selbst in the story ‘A Silver Dish’ and as George Swiebel in Humboldt’s Gift. ‘What matters,’ Bellow wrote to Peltz when he complained of being used, is that good things get written … We’ve known ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: I'll eat my modem, 10 August 2000

... published on paper to great acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. Bret Easton Ellis has said that ‘it renders most other fiction meaningless. One can imagine Pynchon and Ballard and Stephen King and David Foster Wallace bowing at Mark Danielewski’s feet, choking with astonishment, surprise, laughter ...

Censorship

John Bayley, 7 August 1986

No, I’m not afraid 
by Irina Ratushinskaya, translated by David McDuff.
Bloodaxe, 142 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 906427 95 9
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Shcharansky: Hero of Our Time 
by Martin Gilbert.
Macmillan, 467 pp., £14.95, April 1986, 0 333 39504 2
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The Russian Orthodox Church: A Contemporary History 
by Jane Ellis.
Croom Helm, 531 pp., £27.50, April 1986, 0 7099 1567 5
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... Tsvetaeva and Akhmatova. Certainly the individual tones come across, even in English, in David McDuff’s very capable and accurate-seeming translation, although in the absence of the Russian text it is not possible to ‘give way’ to them as one does to authentic sound in a poem. But the atmosphere of fresh reality – the flavour of the ...

Initiatives

Geoffrey Hawthorn, 15 November 1984

Social Scientist as Innovator 
by Michael Young.
Abt Books, 265 pp., $28, April 1984, 0 89011 593 1
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Revolution from Within: Co-operatives and Co-operation in British Industry 
by Michael Young and Marianne Rigge.
Weidenfeld, 188 pp., £12.95, July 1983, 0 297 78234 7
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Dilemmas of Liberal Democracies: Studies in Fred Hirsch’s ‘Social Limits to Growth’ 
edited by Adrian Ellis and Krishan Kumar.
Tavistock, 212 pp., £12.95, September 1983, 0 422 78460 5
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... fail to maintain her pretence of leadership. Neil Kinnock may, despite himself, take over. David Owen may come out of his increasingly conservative camouflage to capture that middle ground on which success in British politics has been said, with decreasing plausibility, to rest. None, however, has a politically able team behind them. Almost anything ...

Larks

Patricia Craig, 19 September 1985

But for Bunter 
by David Hughes.
Heinemann, 223 pp., £8.95, September 1985, 0 434 35410 4
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Bunter Sahib 
by Daniel Green.
Hodder, 272 pp., £8.95, September 1985, 0 340 36429 7
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The Good Terrorist 
by Doris Lessing.
Cape, 370 pp., £9.50, September 1985, 0 224 02323 3
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Unexplained Laughter 
by Alice Thomas Ellis.
Duckworth, 155 pp., £8.95, August 1985, 0 7156 2070 3
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Polaris and Other Stories 
by Fay Weldon.
Hodder, 237 pp., £8.95, August 1985, 0 340 33227 1
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... Bunter’s to run headlong into things, with preposterously beneficial results for all concerned. David Hughes, in his latest novel, takes this trait and turns it on its head: the outcome of Bunter’s intervention in certain notable episodes of the 20th century is very serious indeed. By this account, Bunter is personally responsible for the arrest of ...

Self-Made Women

John Sutherland, 11 July 1991

The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present 
edited by Virginia Blain, Isobel Grundy and Patricia Clements.
Batsford, 1231 pp., £35, August 1990, 0 7134 5848 8
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The Presence of the Present: Topics of the Day in the Victorian Novel 
by Richard Altick.
Ohio State, 854 pp., $45, March 1991, 0 8142 0518 6
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... but subordinate or in thrall to them: ‘she was a close friend of Karl Pearson [and] Havelock Ellis, with whom she discussed, in person and in a vast correspondence, ideas on women’s sexual and spiritual needs and their position in a socialist state.’ It sounds very cerebral. Phyllis Grosskurth suggests something more carnal in her life of Havelock ...

Strangers

John Lanchester, 11 July 1991

Serial Murder: An Elusive Phenomenon 
edited by Stephen Egger.
Praeger, 250 pp., £33.50, October 1990, 0 275 92986 8
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Serial Killers 
by Joel Norris.
Arrow, 333 pp., £4.99, July 1990, 0 09 971750 6
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Life after Life 
by Tony Parker.
Pan, 256 pp., £4.50, May 1991, 0 330 31528 5
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American Psycho 
by Bret Easton Ellis.
Picador, 399 pp., £6.99, April 1991, 0 330 31992 2
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Dirty Weekend 
by Helen Zahavi.
Macmillan, 185 pp., £13.99, April 1991, 0 333 54723 3
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Silence of the Lambs 
by Thomas Harris.
Mandarin, 366 pp., £4.99, April 1991, 0 7493 0942 3
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... for works by artists as different from each other as P.D. James, DV8 Physical Dance Theatre and David Lynch. Stephen Egger, an American academic and former policeman who wrote the first doctoral dissertation on the phenomenon, gives a definition/description of serial murder in Serial Murder: An Elusive Phenomenon: A serial murder occurs when one or more ...

On the Edge

David Sylvester, 27 April 2000

A New Thing Breathing: Recent Work 
by Tony Cragg.
Tate Gallery Liverpool
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... it is through a crucial strategic discovery that changes the rules: the prototype is William Webb Ellis of Rugby School, who playing football one afternoon picked up the ball and ran with it. A fox of genius surprises again and again by the speed and wonder of his inventiveness. These speculations have come in the wake of seeing an exhibition at the Tate ...

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