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Like Apollinaire

Michael Wood, 4 April 1996

Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids 
by Kenzaburo Oë, translated by Paul St John Mackintosh and Maki Sugiyama.
Boyars, 189 pp., £14.95, May 1995, 0 7145 2997 4
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A Personal Matter 
by Kenzaburo Oë, translated by John Nathan.
Picador, 165 pp., £5.99, January 1996, 0 330 34435 8
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Hiroshima Notes 
by Kenzaburo Oë, translated by David Swain and Toshi Yonezawa.
Boyars, 192 pp., £14.95, August 1995, 0 7145 3007 7
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... Perhaps all books are messages from other times and places, even the ones written yesterday and just down the road. But these three works by Kenzaburo Oë, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1994, have an unusual flavour of missives cast into the sea long ago, only now arriving on our island beach. Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids was published in Japan in 1958, and is now translated for the first time ...

Diary

Sean French: Fortress Wapping, 6 March 1986

... Shortly after the Sunday Times’s enforced move into the London Docklands, David Blundy and Jon Swain were strolling towards the new production plant’s heavily-guarded entrance. These two foreign correspondents are used to witnessing military activity (you may remember Swain as a character in Roland Joffe’s movie, The Killing Fields), but they were astonished to see an armoured car with a full complement of Royal Marines apparently patrolling inside the heavily-fortified perimeter fence ...

Like Hell

Thomas McKeown, 1 October 1981

Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The Physical, Medical and Social Effects of the Atomic Bombings 
translated by Eisei Ishikawa and David Swain.
Hutchinson, 706 pp., £20, August 1981, 0 09 145640 1
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... President Reagan’s attention span is known to be brief, and he is said to prefer his memoranda to be limited to a single page. It is therefore unlikely that he will read closely the 640-page report which describes experience of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nevertheless, it would be useful if he – and Mr Brezhnev – were to look through the photographs, which, for the convenience of those who will get no further, have been wisely placed before the text ...

Eros and Hogarth

Robert Melville, 20 August 1981

Hogarth 
by David Bindman.
Thames and Hudson, 216 pp., £5.95, April 1981, 9780500201824
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... David Bindman does not think that Hogarth was joking when he gave one of his contemporaries, John Nichols, a comic demonstration of minimalism: it took the form of a diagram composed of three lines and he claimed that it contained his memory of ‘a Sergeant with his pike going into an Ale House, and his Dog following ...

Hi, Louise!

Stephanie Burt: Frank O’Hara, 20 July 2000

In Memory of My Feelings: Frank O’Hara and American Art 
by Russell Ferguson.
California, 160 pp., £24.50, October 1999, 0 520 22243 1
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The Last Avant-Garde: The Making of the New York School of Poets 
by David Lehman.
Anchor, 448 pp., $16.95, November 1999, 0 385 49533 1
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Frank O’Hara: Poet among Painters 
by Marjorie Perloff.
Chicago, 266 pp., £13.50, March 1998, 0 226 66059 1
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... urban gay camp, Shakespearean aristocrats-in-the-woods and what William Empson called the child-as-swain: TWO SHEPHERDS: We love the country, that’s why we’re handsome, it’s love love love love love. We only quarrel over sheep. We’re terribly natural, aren’t we? Well, is the sky blue? What did you expect, a couple of Air Force Cadets? Not that we ...

Gentlemen and ladies came to see the poet’s cottage

Tom Paulin: Clare’s anti-pastoral, 19 February 2004

John Clare: A Biography 
by Jonathan Bate.
Picador, 650 pp., £25, October 2003, 0 330 37106 1
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‘I Am’: The Selected Poetry of John Clare 
edited by Jonathan Bate.
Farrar, Straus, 318 pp., $17, November 2003, 0 374 52869 1
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John Clare, Politics and Poetry 
by Alan Vardy.
Palgrave, 221 pp., £45, October 2003, 0 333 96617 1
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John Clare Vol. V: Poems of the Middle Period 1822-37 
edited by Eric Robinson, David Powell and P.M.S. Dawson.
Oxford, 822 pp., £105, January 2003, 0 19 812386 8
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... aesthetic category. When Clare says in an untitled poem beginning ‘Good morning to ye honest swain’ that he goes ‘to dinner with the lark/Behind a stubble shock’, he is deliberately roughening the conventional lyric image. (Keats beautifully and subtly employs this strategy in ‘To Autumn’, where the clammy, bloody or deliberately mawkish images ...

My Heroin Christmas

Terry Castle: Art Pepper and Me, 18 December 2003

... Swing Tenor – after his disastrous nervous breakdown in the US Army in the 1940s. According to David Perry in Jazz Greats (1996), Many claims, some of them vague and inflated, have been made about the linguistic originality of black American English, but in the case of Lester Young’s language, such claims seem to have some substance. Buck Clayton ...

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