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Latent Discontent

W.G. Runciman, 11 June 1992

Solidarity and Schism: ‘The Problem of Disorder’ in Durkheimian and Marxist Sociology 
by David Lockwood.
Oxford, 433 pp., £48, March 1992, 0 19 827717 2
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... David Lockwood is the sociologist’s sociologist in the same way that Ken Rosewall used to be the tennis player’s tennis player: he’s the one the other pros turn out to watch. But you need to know the fixture list. To switch to an older metaphor, he is apt not only to hide his light under a bushel but to hide the bushel as well ...

Bible Study in the Basement

Namara Smith: ‘Priestdaddy: A Memoir’, 13 July 2017

Priestdaddy: A Memoir 
by Patricia Lockwood.
Allen Lane, 333 pp., £14.99, May 2017, 978 1 84614 920 7
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... and who had the right to joke about such things was debated on the internet for months. Patricia Lockwood’s contribution to this debate, perhaps the only poem (so far) inspired by a social media controversy, was published in the online magazine the Awl in 2013. At the time, Lockwood, whose first poetry ...


W.G. Runciman: Dining Out, 4 June 1998

... however improbably, in winning the trust of left-wing politicians. Who exploits who? When it’s David Lloyd George, he exploits them. But when it’s Harold Wilson? 2 December 1997. Unable to attend Peter Hennessy’s public lecture on Blair’s version of prime-ministerial government, but he sends a copy. It confirms the impression that collective cabinet ...

Eels on Cocaine

Emily Witt, 22 April 2021

No One Is Talking about This 
by Patricia Lockwood.
Bloomsbury, 210 pp., £14.99, February, 978 1 5266 2976 0
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... The more I try to describe why it was compelling the worse it sounds. You had to be there.Patricia Lockwood is blunt about the difficulty of transposing the internet into literature: ‘All writing about the portal so far had a strong whiff of old white intellectuals being weird about the blues.’ Explaining a meme confines it to a dusty museum. We peer at it ...

Aviators and Movie Stars

Patricia Lockwood: Carson McCullers, 19 October 2017

Stories, Plays and Other Writings 
by Carson McCullers.
Library of America, 672 pp., £33.99, January 2017, 978 1 59853 511 2
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... night on stage. Here is Reeves entangled with various young women; here he is falling in love with David Diamond, a composer who was a shadow figure in their marriage. I am thinking of a place called 7 Middagh Street, a fairytale brownstone in Brooklyn Heights whose back windows looked out onto New York Harbour and the Brooklyn Bridge. It was demolished in ...


Patricia Lockwood: America is a baby, 3 December 2020

... with both our Senate seats up for grabs in a run-off that pits the Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, two of the wealthiest members of Congress, against the Democrats Raphael Warnock, a minister in Atlanta, and Jon Ossoff, an investigative journalist who runs a documentary production company. Whichever party wins will control the Senate for the next ...

Malfunctioning Sex Robot

Patricia Lockwood: Updike Redux, 10 October 2019

Novels, 1959-65: ‘The Poorhouse Fair’; ‘Rabbit, Run’; ‘The Centaur’; ‘Of the Farm’ 
by John Updike.
Library of America, 850 pp., £36, November 2018, 978 1 59853 581 5
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... too much John Hoyer Updike. In a 1997 review for the New York Observer, the recently kinged David Foster Wallace diagnosed how far Updike had fallen in the esteem of a younger generation. ‘Penis with a thesaurus’ is the phrase that lives on, though it is not the levelling blow it first appears; one feels oddly proud, after all, of a penis that has ...

No Shortage of Cousins

David Trotter: Bowenology, 12 August 2021

Selected Stories 
by Elizabeth Bowen, edited by Tessa Hadley.
Vintage, 320 pp., £14.99, April, 978 1 78487 715 6
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The Hotel 
by Elizabeth Bowen.
Anchor, 256 pp., $16, August 2020, 978 0 593 08065 8
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Friends and Relations 
by Elizabeth Bowen.
Anchor, 224 pp., $16, August 2020, 978 0 593 08067 2
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... tell me to do.”’ Add some internet, and we arrive at the startling first sentence of Patricia Lockwood’s No One Is Talking about This. ‘She opened the portal, and the mind met her more than halfway.’In both novels, crisis takes the form of a trick played by nature on culture. Lockwood’s unnamed protagonist ...
Cary Grant: A Class Apart 
by Graham McCann.
Fourth Estate, 346 pp., £16.99, September 1996, 1 85702 366 8
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... man. The name Cary was chosen because of a part Leach had played in a theatre in New York – Cary Lockwood. ‘Grant’ was the name which ‘jumped out’ at him from a long list he was shown. The new star acted in Blonde Venus with Marlene Dietrich in 1932, and in She Done Him Wrong with Mae West the following year. He became a smooth, evening-dressed ...

Shock Cities

Susan Pedersen: The Fate of Social Democracy, 2 January 2020

Thatcher’s Progress: From Social Democracy to Market Liberalism through an English New Town 
by Guy Ortolano.
Cambridge, 301 pp., £29.99, June 2019, 978 1 108 48266 0
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Me, Me, Me? The Search for Community in Postwar England 
by Jon Lawrence.
Oxford, 327 pp., £25, June 2019, 978 0 19 877953 7
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... He then turns to Raphael Samuel’s interviews in Stevenage in 1959-60 and John Goldthorpe and David Lockwood’s surveys in Cambridge and Luton in the early 1960s to trace the way migration to the ‘new towns’ and rising prosperity affected those attitudes. Next he mines the questionnaires gathered by researchers working with Richard Brown on ...

A feather! A very feather upon the face!

Amit Chaudhuri: India before Kipling, 6 January 2000

The Unforgiving Minute 
by Harry Ricketts.
Chatto, 434 pp., £25, January 1999, 0 7011 3744 4
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... engage in a colloquy at a crucial moment of modern history – people like the educationalist David Hare, the Anglo-Portuguese poet and teacher Henry Derozio, the great Bengali poet Michael Madhusudan Dutt. If Kipling had been born fifty years earlier, it would have been impossible for him to write the cheerfully assonantal but bleak lines: ‘O East is ...

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