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My son has been poisoned!

David Bromwich: Cold War movies, 26 January 2012

An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War 
by J. Hoberman.
New Press, 383 pp., £21.99, March 2011, 978 1 59558 005 4
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... lists themselves are interesting. For example: Jean Renoir, Orson Welles, James Wong Howe, Dudley Nichols, Clifford Odets, Robert Rossen, John Garfield, Charlie Chaplin and Leo McCarey all attended a reception in July 1943 for the Soviet director and administrator Mikhail Kalatozov. At that time Russian and American propaganda methods dovetailed nicely, and ...

Cardigan Arrest

Robert Potts: Poetry in Punglish, 21 June 2007

Look We Have Coming to Dover! 
by Daljit Nagra.
Faber, 55 pp., £8.99, February 2007, 978 0 571 23122 5
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... At the end of David Dabydeen’s poem ‘Coolie Odyssey’ (1988), the poet, deracinated by education, distance and time from the dirt-poor ancestors he is elegising, considers his British audience: congregations of the educated Sipping wine, attentive between courses – See the applause fluttering from their white hands Like so many messy table napkins ...

The Garment of Terrorism

Azadeh Moaveni, 30 August 2018

The Making of a Salafi Muslim Woman: Paths to Conversion 
by Anabel Inge.
Oxford, 320 pp., £16.99, May 2018, 978 0 19 088920 3
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Veil 
by Rafia Zakaria.
Bloomsbury, 160 pp., £9.99, September 2017, 978 1 5013 2277 8
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... policy concern and was seen as not only un-British, but as a state security concern. In 2015 David Cameron called on institutions to devise their own ‘sensible rules’ about face veils, and Michael Wilshaw, the head of Ofsted, promised that schools would take a firm lead. He declared that ‘our liberal West values’ must be protected and added that ...

Diary

James Wood: These Etonians, 4 July 2019

... stretching upwards, but perhaps true ambition has a pair of silent claws. None of us identified David Cameron as the boy marching inexorably towards Downing Street. When he became Tory leader in 2005, I had difficulty recalling him: wasn’t he that affable, sweet-faced, minor fellow at the edge of things? I remembered him as quite handsome, with the ...

Old Gravy

Mark Ford, 7 September 1995

Robert Graves: Life on the Edge 
by Miranda Seymour.
Doubleday, 524 pp., £20, July 1995, 0 385 40423 9
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Robert Graves and the White Goddess 
by Richard Perceval Graves.
Weidenfeld, 618 pp., £25, July 1995, 0 297 81534 2
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Robert Graves: His Life and Work 
by Martin Seymour-Smith.
Bloomsbury, 600 pp., £25, June 1995, 0 7475 2205 7
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Robert Graves: Collected Writings on Poetry 
edited by Paul O’Prey.
Carcanet, 560 pp., £35, June 1995, 1 85754 172 3
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Robert Graves: The Centenary Selected Poems 
edited by Patrick Quinn.
Carcanet, 160 pp., £15.95, April 1995, 9781857541267
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... mythical imagery and only a few pointers to the context of the war. In pieces such as ‘To Robert Nichols’ or ‘Letter to S.S. from Mametz Wood’ Graves explicitly figures poetry as a means of temporarily blocking out the terrors of combat. Graves’s other means of escape from the brutalities of both school and the battlefield were his romantic feelings ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2010, 16 December 2010

... debatable. It’s a shocking story, with one of the victims having been battered almost to death. David Cameron is quick to move in and claim the crime is evidence of ‘a broken society’, conveniently ignoring the fact that Edlington, the village in question, is smack in the middle of what was a mining community, a society systematically broken by Mrs ...

What does she think she looks like?

Rosemary Hill: The Dress in Your Head, 5 April 2018

... to it.’ The department store is in decline these days, but it is still possible in Harvey Nichols or perhaps Fenwicks to have that sense of luxuriating in peace and freedom – if you like such shops. I like them for the reasons that some women and many men dislike them. There are rarely any windows to the outside. You navigate by departments and ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2000, 25 January 2001

... I came in the latter category. I went round to see him after Home and he said how much he liked David Storey. ‘He’s the ideal author … never says a word!’ In Chariots of Fire he shared a scene with Lindsay Anderson, both of them playing Cambridge dons. Lindsay was uncharacteristically nervous but having directed John G. in Home felt able to ask his ...

Time Unfolded

Perry Anderson: Powell v. the World, 2 August 2018

... like the pockets of comic relief in Shakespearean tragedy. It is far larger and more defining. In David Hawkes’s translation of The Dream, an achievement surpassing Scott Moncrieff’s or later English versions of Proust in the art of delivering one cultural world – a much stranger one – into another, not only is the wit no barrier to an Anglophone ...

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