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Shaggy Fellows

David Norbrook, 9 July 1987

A History of Modern Poetry: Modernism and After 
by David Perkins.
Harvard, 694 pp., £19.95, April 1987, 0 674 39946 3
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Collected Poems 
by Geoffrey Hill.
Penguin, 207 pp., £3.95, September 1985, 0 14 008383 9
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The Poetry of Geoffrey Hill 
by Henry Hart.
Southern Illinois, 305 pp., $24.95, January 1986, 0 8093 1236 0
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... his own. Beauty is no absolute guarantee of truth or morality; art may illuminate or corrupt. As David Perkins points out in Modernism and After, Pound is incomparable amongst modern poets for the rhythmic subtlety of his evocation of sensuous beauty, of the play of light and shade. For Perkins, this lyricism is the ...

On the Thunder Run

Ed Harriman: What Happened at al-Hilla, 1 April 2004

A Time of Our Choosing: America’s War in Iraq 
by Todd Purdom.
Times, 319 pp., $25, November 2003, 0 8050 7562 3
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... route through the countryside to the west of the city. The brigade’s commanding officer, Colonel David Perkins, told a television reporter the result of the Thunder Run: ‘We have taken out his defences. All of his prepared organic defences along with his equipment is all completely destroyed . . . And we destroyed probably in excess of a thousand ...

Spookery, Skulduggery

David Runciman: Chris Mullin, 4 April 2019

The Friends of Harry Perkins 
by Chris Mullin.
Scribner, 185 pp., £12, March 2019, 978 1 4711 8248 8
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... that decade, it nonetheless recalled the politics of the 1970s. The novel tells the story of Harry Perkins, a Bennite leader of the Labour Party, who wins power at a general election but has it prised away from him by a conspiracy of securocrats, tycoons and Labour turncoats. Its characters were recognisable as an amalgam of the passing generation of Labour ...

Exact Walking

Christopher Hill, 19 June 1980

Calvin and English Calvinism to 1649 
by R.T. Kendall.
Oxford, 252 pp., £12.50, February 1980, 0 19 826716 9
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... see, is unhappy about it. Bishops like Jewell, Grindal and Whitgift, Puritans like Cartwright and Perkins (though Dr Kendall would not call him a Puritan), later King James I, all agreed on the essentials of theology. This orthodoxy was challenged by Laudians in the 1630s, by sectaries in the Forties and Fifties. By the end of the century, Calvinism was no ...

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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... 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 or help. When he found out about it, he tried to stop its publication, first writing to her doctor and then to ...

My word, Miss Perkins

Jenny Diski: In the Typing Pool, 4 August 2005

Literary Secretaries/Secretarial Culture 
edited by Leah Price and Pamela Thurschwell.
Ashgate, 168 pp., £40, January 2005, 0 7546 3804 9
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... a way for a young man to have an exciting career as a journalist, or, like Dickens and his shadow David Copperfield, to become a parliamentary reporter. When the First World War and the economics of differential wages for male and female employees enabled or forced women to take over the shorthand typing, the value of the expertise fell (as well as the ...

Fat and Fretful

John Bayley, 18 April 1996

Foreign Country: The Life of L.P. Hartley 
by Adrian Wright.
Deutsch, 304 pp., £17.99, March 1996, 0 233 98976 5
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... the one which most perfectly balanced the art of speaking out by not speaking out. Simonetta Perkins is a gem of almost miraculous accomplishment and maturity, despite its obvious debt to James and to Forster. Deplorable that it should so long have been out of print: indeed I don’t think it has been reprinted since the Thirties. It gave Hartley his ...

From Papa in Heaven

Russell Davies, 3 September 1981

Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters 1917-1961 
edited by Carlos Baker.
Granada, 948 pp., £15, April 1981, 0 246 11576 9
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... on their territory. Anyhow I never could open up a real partnership with any of them after Max Perkins died. Charlie Scribner maybe. But he died too. I had to get out before the sons of bitches all died. The shooting up here most days would be louzy (spelling? I never could spell worth a damn) even if I had a gun. The duck do not get up high enough to ...

Deal of the Century

David Thomson: As Ovitz Tells It, 7 March 2019

Who Is Michael Ovitz? 
by Michael Ovitz.
W.H. Allen, 372 pp., £20, September 2018, 978 0 7535 5336 7
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... of ‘Whatever happened to … ?’ So who was he? Michael Ovitz was born in Chicago in 1946 to David, the son of Jewish Romanian immigrants. David was a liquor salesman for Seagram’s but he worked weekends too, selling patio furniture to support his family after they moved to Encino in the San Fernando Valley. ‘The ...

At the Shrink

Janique Vigier, 22 October 2020

... In​ the spring of 1972, the poet Bernadette Mayer began to keep a journal for her analyst, David Rubinfine, whose patients included Tuesday Weld and Anthony Perkins, and who was notorious for having married another patient, Elaine May, a decade earlier. Mayer was 27. In the journal – there were two, in fact; Rubinfine read one while she wrote in the other – she attempted to record her states of consciousness ...

Townlords

Sidney Pollard, 2 April 1981

Lords and Landlords: The Aristocracy and the Towns, 1774-1967 
by David Cannadine.
Leicester University Press, 494 pp., £19, July 1980, 0 7185 1152 2
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... them were some of the most noble families in the land. This theme is not entirely neglected in David Cannadine’s book – it inevitably rears its head on many occasions – but it does not form the main focus of his interest. This is a pity, for there can be few historians equally familiar with both the general social history and the particular details ...

Performing Seals

Christopher Hitchens: The PR Crowd, 10 August 2000

Partisans: Marriage, Politics and Betrayal Among the New York Intellectuals 
by David Laskin.
Simon and Schuster, 319 pp., $26, January 2000, 0 684 81565 6
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... Norman Podhoretz). Queenie Leavis of course became an official widow, and it is les veuves on whom David Laskin relies most heavily in this relatively orderly account of sexual and matrimonial chaos. Diana Trilling outlived Lionel by many a book; Mary McCarthy enjoyed the same revenge on Edmund Wilson; the witches of Eastwick (lacking only their Hardwick) have ...

Go and get killed, comrade

Gideon Lewis-Kraus: Spanish Civil War, 21 February 2013

Unlikely Warriors: The British in the Spanish Civil War and the Struggle against Fascism 
by Richard Baxell.
Aurum, 516 pp., £25, September 2012, 978 1 84513 697 0
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I Am Spain: The Spanish Civil War and the Men and Women Who Went to Fight Fascism 
by David Boyd Haycock.
Old Street, 363 pp., £25, October 2012, 978 1 908699 10 7
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... miniatures of the uncontroversial heroism of doomed men. It’s beyond history; it’s myth. David Boyd Haycock’s I Am Spain: The Spanish Civil War and the Men and Women Who Went to Fight Fascism is a good example of where this Civil War mythology tends to wind up. He replaces Baxell’s careful scholarship with broad-brush sentimentality. They ...

Corbyn in the Media

Paul Myerscough, 22 October 2015

... leader. Would he – could he? – perform the countless vital tasks that come naturally to David Cameron or Tony Blair: everything from how to comport yourself at the despatch box to the best way to climb out of a chauffeur-driven car, from how to use an autocue to knowing which pop band to choose on Desert Island Discs. If you don’t know which tie ...

God wielded the buzzer

Christian Lorentzen: The Sorrows of DFW, 11 October 2012

Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace 
by D.T. Max.
Granta, 352 pp., £20, September 2012, 978 1 84708 494 1
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... David Foster Wallace’s parents, Sally and Jim, were the sort of couple who read each other Ulysses in bed while holding hands. Jim read David and his younger sister Amy Moby-Dick as a bedtime story. It wasn’t inevitable that the boy would grow up to write an epic novel, but it wasn’t accidental ...

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