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Matthew Reynolds: Dryden

19 July 2007
The Poems of John Dryden: Vol. V 1697-1700 
edited by Paul Hammond and David Hopkins.
Longman, 707 pp., £113.99, July 2005, 0 582 49214 9
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Dryden: Selected Poems 
edited by Paul Hammond and David Hopkins.
Longman, 856 pp., £19.99, February 2007, 978 1 4058 3545 9
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... aggregate of writing has not discouraged academic interest; rather the reverse. Drydenian scholarship flourishes, and its crowning glories are the five volumes of the Poems edited by Paul Hammond and DavidHopkins and published by Longman between 1995 and 2005. But the pleasures of scholarship are not wholly coextensive with those of reading. Students are probably still encouraged to enjoy the measured ...
20 November 1986
Bowie 
by Jerry Hopkins.
Elm Tree, 275 pp., £8.95, May 1985, 0 241 11548 5
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Alias David​ Bowie 
by Peter Gillman and Leni Gillman.
Hodder, 511 pp., £16.95, September 1986, 0 340 36806 3
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... David Robert Jones, alias David Bowie, is now in his 40th year. His creepy, chilling phrases pop out of pub jukeboxes, and extracts from his movies catch the eye on pub videos, whether he is embracing a Chinese girl or being ...

Dying and Not Dying

Cathy Gere: Henrietta Lacks

10 June 2010
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks 
by Rebecca Skloot.
Macmillan, 368 pp., £18.99, June 2010, 978 0 230 74869 9
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... in a Jim Crow era charity hospital gave rise to a quiet revolution in medicine. In January 1951, at the age of 30, Henrietta Lacks was admitted to the ‘Coloured Only’ examination room of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, complaining of abdominal pain and irregular bleeding. A week later she was back to receive radium treatment for cervical cancer. Before operating, the surgeon shaved a small ...
24 January 1980
Pavlov 
by Jeffrey Gray.
Fontana, 140 pp., £1.25, September 1980, 9780006343042
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J.B. Watson: The Founder of Behaviourism 
by David​ Cohen.
Routledge, 297 pp., £8.95, September 1980, 0 7100 0054 5
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... though they do not always appear in roles they would have liked to see exposed. Every one of his academic friends and colleagues deserted Watson in his hour of need, when he was kicked out of Johns Hopkins. Watson very largely dismissed philosophy, at least as an activity he could or wished to understand, so that the comparative lack of philosophical appreciation here (Ryle’s Concept of Mind is not ...
18 November 2010
Madame Bovary: Provincial Ways 
by Gustave Flaubert and Lydia Davis.
Penguin, 342 pp., £20, November 2010, 978 1 84614 104 1
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... the American short-story writer – and Proust translator – Lydia Davis. In between, most of the 15 or more versions have been made by men. The best-known of them are Francis Steegmuller and Gerard Hopkins; and though Steegmuller did write some fiction – including mysteries under the name of David Keith – it’s a fair bet that Davis is the best fiction writer ever to translate the novel. Which ...

Toolkit for Tinkerers

Colin Burrow: The Sonnet

24 June 2010
The Art of the Sonnet 
by Stephanie Burt and David​ Mikics.
Harvard, 451 pp., £25.95, May 2010, 978 0 674 04814 0
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... from apocalypse to zoos. Since its invention in 13th-century Sicily the sonnet has been the most versatile and enduring of poetic forms. It has been pumped with inscape and instress by Gerard Manley Hopkins, filled with sentiment by Anna Seward, cut and pasted by Ted Berrigan (his 1964 Sonnets were apparently assembled with the help of the 1960s equivalent of a Pritt Stick), and worked into a tortuous ...
21 October 1982
Hanns Eisler: Political Musician 
by Albrecht Betz, translated by Bill Hopkins.
Cambridge, 326 pp., £25, June 1982, 0 521 24022 0
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Music and Political: Collected Writings 1953-81 
by Hans Werner Henze, translated by Peter Labanyi.
Faber, 286 pp., £15, July 1982, 0 571 11719 8
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Vindications: Essays on Romantic Music 
by Deryck Cooke and Bryan Magee.
Faber, 226 pp., £12.50, July 1982, 0 571 11795 3
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... re-spelling of the name) hints at verbally, but which both their music and a wordless work like the String Trio define with quasi-mathematical precision. It is, incidentally, Peter Labanyi, not Bill Hopkins, who rightly translates ‘committed’; Bill Hopkins turns it into the foreign-sounding ‘engaged’. And while both translations seem competent, Labanyi’s is the more natural. But then he could ...

English Butter

David​ Trotter

9 October 1986
Englishness: Politics and Culture 1880-1920 
edited by Robert Colls and Philip Dodd.
Croom Helm, 378 pp., £25, June 1986, 0 7099 0849 0
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The Character Factory: Baden-Powell and the Origins of the Boy Scout Movement 
by Michael Rosenthal.
Collins, 335 pp., £15, August 1986, 0 00 217604 1
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Oxford and Empire: The Last Lost Cause? 
by Richard Symonds.
Macmillan, 366 pp., £29.50, July 1986, 0 333 40206 5
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... Their argument is by no means facile, but it does encourage some curious distortions. We are told, for example, that Robert Bridges’s editing of the proto-Modernist poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins accommodated their dangerous excess to a ‘prevailing orthodoxy’, and ‘muffled’ their ‘critique of industrialisation’. Brooker and Widdowson associate the literary radicalism of these ...

Epireading

Claude Rawson

4 March 1982
Ferocious Alphabets 
by Denis Donoghue.
Faber, 211 pp., £8.95, October 1981, 0 571 11809 7
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... back to the primary utterance or epos. His ‘object of discovery is not a message ... but a person ... From print to voice: that is the epireader’s direction.’ The heroes of this tradition are Hopkins (G.M.), Poulet, Burke (K.), Ricoeur, Poirier and Bloom (H.). They are described in brief, attractively idiosyncratic little essays. Graphireading, by contrast, is concerned with ‘text’ rather ...

You bet your life

Margaret Walters

21 April 1988
Oscar and Lucinda 
by Peter Carey.
Faber, 512 pp., £10.95, March 1988, 0 571 14812 3
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The Fifth Child 
by Doris Lessing.
Cape, 131 pp., £9.95, April 1988, 0 224 02553 8
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Eight Months on Ghazzah Street 
by Hilary Mantel.
Viking, 299 pp., £11.95, April 1988, 0 670 82117 9
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... history, and we’re all of us secretly stunned by the coincidences which have resulted, against the odds, in our existence. And the narrator’s account of his great-grandfather, the Reverend Oscar Hopkins, is, by any standards, a weird one. It begins in Devon, with a Christmas pudding snatched from the child’s lips by his harsh Plymouth Brethren father. It ends – as a direct consequence of that ...

The Olympics Scam

Iain Sinclair: The Razing of East London

19 June 2008
... restaging of Leni Riefenstahl’s overblown epic: junkyard frolics, athletic events taking place across the panorama of blight, wheel-hubs for discuses. Trail of the Spider by Anja Kirschner and David Panos announced itself as a Situationist spaghetti western shot on Hackney Marshes; where, the makers assert, the land-grab expansionism of the Old West ‘collides with suppressed history’. Range ...

Beastliness

John Mullan: Eric Griffiths

23 May 2019
If Not Critical 
by Eric Griffiths, edited by Freya Johnston.
Oxford, 248 pp., £25, March 2018, 978 0 19 880529 8
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The Printed Voice of Victorian Poetry 
by Eric Griffiths.
Oxford, 351 pp., £55, July 2018, 978 0 19 882701 6
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... of Rabelais are clarified with reference to the rhetorical tricks of Dame Edna Everage. Griffiths had a reputation for enjoying popular culture. He once made a TV programme celebrating the work of David Byrne of Talking Heads. In 2008, it was reported in the nationals that he’d set an exam question asking for Amy Winehouse’s ‘Love Is a Losing Game’ to be compared with a ballad by Walter ...

Had he not run

David​ Reynolds: America’s longest-serving president

2 June 2005
Franklin Delano Roosevelt 
by Roy Jenkins.
Pan, 208 pp., £7.99, May 2005, 0 330 43206 0
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Franklin D. Roosevelt 
by Patrick Renshaw.
Longman, 223 pp., $16.95, December 2003, 0 582 43803 9
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Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom 
by Conrad Black.
Weidenfeld, 1280 pp., £17.99, October 2004, 0 7538 1848 5
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... wall of newspaper owners and editors. He also benefited from the creative ingenuity of those around him, including his ‘Brains Trust’ of Columbia University academics and advisers such as Harry Hopkins, a former social worker who became the president’s confidant after the death of Louis Howe in April 1936. Inventive, loyal and industrious, Hopkins worked himself to death in Roosevelt’s service ...

None of it is your material

Madeleine Schwartz: What Zelda Did

18 April 2019
Save Me the Waltz 
by Zelda Fitzgerald.
Handheld Press, 268 pp., £12.99, January 2019, 978 1 9998280 4 2
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... has reprinted Save Me the Waltz, her only completed novel, in a nice scholarly edition. Zelda wrote it in about six weeks in 1932, while being treated for schizophrenia at the Phipps Clinic of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. She sent the manuscript to her husband’s editor, Max Perkins, without showing it to him first. It was the first piece of writing she had tried to publish without his approval ...

Too Proud to Fight

David​ Reynolds: The ‘Lusitania’ Effect

28 November 2002
Wilful Murder: The Sinking of the ‘Lusitania’ 
by Diana Preston.
Doubleday, 543 pp., £18.99, May 2002, 0 385 60173 5
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Lusitania: Saga and Myth 
by David​ Ramsay.
Chatham, 319 pp., £20, September 2001, 1 86176 170 8
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Woodrow Wilson 
by John Thompson.
Longman, 288 pp., £15.99, August 2002, 0 582 24737 3
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... on the British side, in particular the claim that Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, deliberately sacrificed the Lusitania to draw the United States into the war. Both Diana Preston and David Ramsay deal briskly and effectively with this. Churchill and Jackie Fisher, the First Sea Lord, were preoccupied with the escalating political crisis over Gallipoli. The absence of British naval ...

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