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Ach so, Herr Major

Nicholas Horsfall: Translating Horace

23 June 2005
Horace: Odes and Epodes 
edited by Niall Rudd.
Harvard, 350 pp., £14.50, June 2004, 0 674 99609 7
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... Publishers seem to understand this, as witness a new Oxford edition of Horace’s Odes (1997) by David West, and a Penguin Aeneid from the same hand (1990), while A.J. Woodman’s edition of Tacitus’ Annals is eagerly awaited. But a Loeb edition is rather more: some volumes have full introductions and ample annotation, even a new critical text of the Latin ...

Narco Polo

Iain Sinclair

23 January 1997
Mr Nice: An Autobiography 
by Howard Marks.
Secker, 466 pp., £16.99, September 1996, 0 436 20305 7
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Pulp Election: The Booker Prize Fix 
by Carmen St Keeldare.
Bluedove, 225 pp., £12.99, September 1996, 0 9528298 0 0
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... other trappings of an upwardly-mobile prick.’ Marks was into St Katherine’s Dock years before David Mellor. Into the revamped wetlands before The Long Good Friday. But it was the same old cocktail: drugs, guns, Arabs, falcons. Flemingesque vulgarity: ‘Crême brûlée with Château d’Yquem made for a good dessert.’ The karma of cash. ‘It’s always ...

Short Cuts

Rosemary Hill: Successive John Murrays

8 November 2018
... things​ in the relations between authors and publishers never change. Dear Mr Murray, edited by David McClay (John Murray, £16.99), a collection of letters written to six generations of the Murray family, is full of familiar complaints. Jane Austen was ‘very much disappointed … by the delays of the printers’. Maria Rundell, author of A New System of ...

Why can’t she just do as she ought?

Michael Newton: ‘Gone with the Wind’

6 August 2009
Frankly, My Dear: ‘Gone with the Wind’ Revisited 
by Molly Haskell.
Yale, 244 pp., £16.99, March 2009, 978 0 300 11752 3
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... Before it was a classic film, Gone with the Wind was a classic PR stunt. The film’s producer, David O. Selznick, announced that he would launch a nationwide search for the young woman who would play Scarlett O’Hara. The move provoked a furore; Margaret Mitchell’s novel, published in 1936, was already a national bestseller – it seemed that everyone was reading it – and the desire to star in the movie version proved irresistible ...
21 January 1988
Jane Austen: Her Life 
by Park Honan.
Weidenfeld, 452 pp., £16.95, October 1987, 0 297 79217 2
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... substantial biographies of Jane Austen within a decade smacks of excess. But, compared with Lord David Cecil’s A Portrait of Jane Austen (1979) and John Halperin’s The Life of Jane Austen (1984), the work under review is in so many ways the best that it deserves to make its mark. The three authors, moreover, approach their subject (or subjects) from ...


Tom Vanderbilt: ‘The Manchurian Candidate’

21 August 2003
The Manchurian Candidate: BFI Film Classics 
by Greil Marcus.
BFI, 75 pp., £8.99, July 2002, 0 85170 931 1
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... by Philip Wylie in Generation of Vipers, the conformist ‘other directed’ man described by David Riesman, the ever distancing nature of reality in the age of Daniel Boorstin’s ‘pseudo-event’, and the seemingly hypnotic new mass medium of television. The Manchurian Candidate was the first film to film television, in a scene in which Lansbury ...


Marilyn Butler: What Jane Austen Read

5 March 1998
Jane Austen: A Life 
by David Nokes.
Fourth Estate, 578 pp., £20, September 1997, 1 85702 419 2
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Jane Austen: A Life 
by Claire Tomalin.
Viking, 341 pp., £20, October 1997, 0 670 86528 1
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... Austen, ‘Biographical Notice’ to Northanger Abbey and Persuasion (1818), the Rev. J.E. Austen-Leigh, Memoir of Jane Austen (1870) and W. and R.A. Austen-Leigh, Jane Austen: Her Life and Letters (1913). These pioneers had two main messages to convey: that the author was a very domestic woman, and that outside her family ...
26 October 1989
Touching the void 
by Joe Simpson.
Cape, 172 pp., £10.95, July 1988, 0 224 02545 7
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by M. John Harrison.
Gollancz, 221 pp., £12.95, September 1989, 9780575036321
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... has the suddenness of current film. Each image is stunning while it lasts. Snapshots of people: ‘David was a fireman, whose prematurely white hair give him a kind but slightly overdressed look, like a professional snooker player.’ Of animals (a mortally injured cat): ‘The eye on that side had been pushed in, causing it to turn and lift its head irritably ...

On the Catwalk

Peter Campbell: Taste and exclusivity

14 November 2002
... about fashion and its presentation. Rapture: Art’s Seduction by Fashion since 1970 and David LaChapelle’s photographs both run until 23 December. An exhibition at the V&A of Gianni Versace’s clothes runs until 12 January.* All three tangle with the paradoxes of taste and exclusivity. LaChapelle embraces Truman Capote’s ‘Good taste is the ...

At Victoria Miro

Peter Campbell: William Eggleston

25 February 2010
... Why do people always come off badly? The camera surely doesn’t love them. The one face shown (‘Leigh in black top’) is miserably unhappy. The unexplained strangeness of the ordinary or tacky that has drawn film-makers like David Lynch to Eggleston is evident, but the colour also registers at a different level. As in ...

Short Cuts

Martin Loughlin: Tax Credits

19 November 2015
... fingers to democracy’. In an allusion to the 1909 People’s Budget crisis, the Tory MP Edward Leigh claimed that ‘not for a hundred years has the House of Lords defied this elected House.’ This claim was trumped by the insistence of Leigh’s fellow Tory MP, the ‘keen constitutional student’ Jacob ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Anomalisa’

20 April 2016
... seems real, and who, like him, has a voice of her own. In her case it’s that of Jennifer Jason Leigh, in his it’s David Thewlis, Lancashire accent and all. Lisa loves Cyndi Lauper, offers a plausible rendering of one her songs (‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’), and is generally so original in her sweetness and ...
4 September 1997
... year to year in Exeter. I knew of his austere reputation and of his reluctance to publish from David Marquand, who was at Magdalen and who told me how he had been scared out of his wits one dark night in the cloisters when Bruce had swept past him in his Spanish cloak. I must have written to him and been told to come down to Magdalen, though I remember ...

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, Ellis tells us, acutely unhappy there, though the unhappiness had a ...

The Nephew

David Thomson

19 March 1981
Charmed Lives 
by Michael Korda.
Penguin, 498 pp., £2.50, January 1981, 0 14 005402 2
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... crucial moment, 1941, he made That Hamilton Woman, the Nelson-Emma story, with Olivier and Vivien Leigh, and a rousing anti-fascist speech which Churchill may have written for the film. In 1942 he was knighted, the first time that honour had ever gone to a film-maker; and why should the accolade not pause over a grey Hungarian head, born Sandor Laszlo ...

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