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At the National Gallery

Peter Campbell: Russian landscapes

5 August 2004
... level horizon. ‘Look,’ it seems to say, ‘this is all we have – an endless plain and high grey skies.’ Painters of flat land, denied rocks, hills, torrents and mountains, turn to trees (in groves, avenues and forests); to the sky and clouds; and to light as it changes from sunrise, to high noon, to sunset, and to moonlight. With these they are able to dramatise plains, prairies, steppes and ...

Diary

Ronan Bennett: The IRA Ceasefire

22 September 1994
... by surprise. Why else this dreadful stuff? I leave Humphrys to pursue his Birtian mission to explain and go to check the newspapers. The Independent has a well-informed and balanced piece by David McKittrick on the genesis of the ceasefire. He seems cautiously optimistic. Not so that other old ham, Conor Cruise O’Brien, writing on the same newspaper’s opinion pages. O’Brien sees the ...
22 February 1996
The Collected Works of James Hogg. Vol. I: The Shepherd’s Calendar 
edited by Douglas Mack.
Edinburgh, 287 pp., £29.50, July 1995, 9780748604746
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Collected Works of James Hogg. Vol. II: The Three Perils of Woman 
edited by David Groves, Antony Hasler and Douglas Mack.
Edinburgh, 466 pp., £32.50, July 1995, 9780748604746
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Collected Works of James Hogg. Vol. III: A Queer Book 
edited by P.D. Garside.
Edinburgh, 278 pp., £29.50, July 1995, 0 7486 0506 1
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... Early 19th-century Edinburgh had a lot less time for James Hogg than for the Ettrick Shepherd, the literary persona created partly by Hogg himself, partly by the tight circle that ran Blackwood’s Magazine. Comic, bibulous, full of naive folk-wisdom, easy to patronise, the Ettrick Shepherd was invented as a souvenir of the pastoral Lowlands, a survival whose presence among one of the Edinburgh literary ...

In Upper Nazareth

Ilan Pappe: ‘Judaisation’

10 September 2009
... i.e. the de-Arabisation – of his city, and Liberman declared in August that stopping the immigration of Arabs into Nazareth, as he calls it, is a national priority. The city was built in the 1950s. David Ben-Gurion was outraged by the presence of so many Arabs in the Galilee when he toured the region in 1953, a few days before he retired for a year and half from his premiership. He appointed the ...

Swaying at the Stove

Rosemary Hill: The Cult of Elizabeth David

9 December 1999
Elizabeth DavidA Biography 
by Lisa Chaney.
Pan, 482 pp., £10, September 1999, 0 330 36762 5
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Waiting at the Kitchen Table. Elizabeth DavidThe Authorised Biography 
by Artemis Cooper.
Viking, 364 pp., £20, November 1999, 0 7181 4224 1
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... When Elizabeth David’s A Book of Mediterranean Food appeared in 1950, many of the ingredients it called for were unobtainable. But even after meat came off the ration, few people can have had much practical need for a ...
22 June 2000
The Way We Lived Then: Recollections of a Well-Known Name Dropper 
by Dominick Dunne.
Crown, 218 pp., £17.99, October 1999, 0 609 60388 4
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Gary Cooper Off Camera: A Daughter Remembers 
by Maria Cooper Janis.
Abrams, 176 pp., £22, November 1999, 0 8109 4130 9
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...  smaller places, not the star establishments that revel in ‘now’ – that have blown-up landscape photographs of what the town was like in the 1920s and 1930s. They show farmland and orange groves, with outcrops of buildings at crossroads. When you see a photograph of Samuel Goldwyn in jodhpurs, that’s not because he’s dressed for the role of whip-cracking dictator. No, he often rode a ...

Ariel the Unlucky

David​ Gilmour

5 April 1990
Warrior: The Autobiography of Ariel Sharon 
by Ariel Sharon and David​ Chanoff.
Macdonald, 571 pp., £14.95, October 1989, 0 356 17960 5
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The Slopes of Lebanon 
by Amos Oz, translated by Maurie Goldberg-Bartura.
Chatto, 246 pp., £13.95, January 1990, 0 7011 3444 5
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From Beirut to Jerusalem 
by Thomas Friedman.
Collins, 541 pp., £15, March 1990, 0 00 215096 4
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Pity the nation: Lebanon at War 
by Robert Fisk.
Deutsch, 622 pp., £17.95, February 1990, 0 233 98516 6
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... of the homes they have not seen since 1948, and their memories of a lost pastoral landscape. To them Palestine has less connection with the modern world than with the picturesque towns engraved by David Roberts in the 19th century. Old men still talk about their orange groves and their old stone houses in Jaffa, remembering every tree and every stone, and one doesn’t have the heart to tell them ...
14 November 1996
The Correspondence of Adam Ferguson 
edited by Vincenzo Merolle.
Pickering & Chatto, 257 pp., £135, October 1995, 1 85196 140 2
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... genius’, the ideas of the Scottish Enlightenment endure. Their genetic code lurks in the inheritance of Liberals and Marxists alike, while the New Right delights in a pedigree which reaches back to David Hume and Adam Smith. In the United States scholars have established the influence of Francis Hutcheson, Hume and Smith on the American Revolution and the making of the Constitution. This view has ...

Agh, Agh, Yah, Boo

David​ Wheatley: Ian Hamilton Finlay

4 December 2014
Midway: Letters from Ian Hamilton Finlay to Stephen Bann, 1964-69 
edited by Stephen Bann.
Wilmington Square, 426 pp., £25, May 2014, 978 1 905524 34 1
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... editor, and given up on the idea of an avant-garde collective front; but, on the bright side, he reported on 22 December 1969 that he had ‘bought a lot of new trees’ and was ‘planting 2 little groves of birches’ to frame a marble sundial. Little Sparta ‘Sea Poppy I’ (1966) ‘Arcadia’ (1973)PreviousNext Forty-five years later, Little Sparta is thriving (open three afternoons a week ...

Venice-on-Thames

Amanda Vickery: Vauxhall Gardens

7 February 2013
Vauxhall Gardens: A History 
by Alan Borg and David​ Coke.
Yale, 473 pp., £55, June 2011, 978 0 300 17382 6
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... can’t get enough of pleasure gardens. They seem to crystallise the new and distinctive features of Georgian society and culture in one fabulous setting. As places of commerce masquerading as wooded groves, pleasure gardens offered idealised rus in urbe. They could seem poetic in the dusk as the visitor listened to the evening chorus of resident songbirds, but were transportingly magical as night fell ...
23 June 1988
The Yellow Wind 
by David​ Grossman, translated by Haim Watzman.
Cape, 202 pp., £10.95, June 1988, 9780224025669
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... where Menachem Begin’s Irgun massacred the Palestinian inhabitants in 1948 – was now a mere suburb of Jerusalem, a place of apartment blocks and car repair shops? Was he unaware that the olive groves of which he spoke so emotionally had in some cases disappeared, that the bare hilltops were now sporting Jewish settlements? What could he do to arrest these things, sitting here in this drafty hut ...

Putting it on

David​ Marquand

12 September 1991
A Life at the Centre 
by Roy Jenkins.
Macmillan, 600 pp., £20, September 1991, 0 333 55164 8
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... of genius, Lloyd George and Churchill, never doubted that they were happier in 10 Downing Street even in the darkest days of war than they ever could be on the hills of Wales or in the painting groves of the South of France.      So, although I think that I was a decisive and even an adventurous politician at various stages in my life, and had more sensible views about how to lead a ...
7 August 1986
Mating Birds 
by Lewis Nkosi.
Constable, 184 pp., £8.95, July 1986, 0 00 946724 6
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Lost Time 
by Catharine Arnold.
Hodder, 220 pp., £9.95, May 1986, 0 340 38783 1
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The Bridge 
by Iain Banks.
Macmillan, 259 pp., £9.95, July 1986, 0 333 41285 0
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Incidents at the Shrine 
by Ben Okri.
Heinemann, 130 pp., £9.95, July 1986, 0 434 53230 4
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Things fall apart 
by Chinua Achebe.
Heinemann, 150 pp., £3.50, July 1986, 0 435 90526 0
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The Innocents 
by Carolyn Slaughter.
Viking, 219 pp., £9.95, May 1986, 0 670 81016 9
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... of the Varsity novel: a genre patronised by Dorothy Sayers and Frederic Raphael, and to be distinguished from the campus novels (more academic, not so upper-class) of, say, Malcolm Bradbury and David Lodge. Miles Tattershall lectures, with moderate success, in 17th-century literature at Cambridge. He, too, is conventional, in so far as conventions exist for fictional men of letters. Like Nick ...

Cleanser to Cleansed

Gabriel Piterberg: S. Yizhar

26 February 2009
‘Midnight Convoy’ and Other Stories 
by S. Yizhar, translated by Misha Louvish et al.
Toby, 283 pp., £9.99, May 2007, 978 1 59264 183 3
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Khirbet Khizeh 
by S. Yizhar, translated by Nicholas de Lange and Yaacob Dweck.
Ibis, 131 pp., $16.95, April 2008, 978 965 90 1259 6
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Preliminaries 
by S. Yizhar, translated by Nicholas de Lange.
Toby, 305 pp., £14.95, May 2007, 978 1 59264 190 1
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... of rural Arab Palestine as Yizhar experienced it, goes to the heart of the Zionist-Palestinian conflict and has given rise to great unease, even evasiveness, among liberal commentators in Israel. David Shulman’s afterword to this edition is an impressive exception. Khirbet Khizeh is an Arab village, which is captured – more or less without a fight – by a detachment of Israeli soldiers in the ...

Diary

Yonatan Mendel: A Palestinian Day Out

15 August 2019
... before 1948, is most people’s first choice. It was once the largest, most cosmopolitan of all Palestinian cities, with more than eighty thousand inhabitants, a vibrant port and prospering orange groves, with at least six movie theatres – the Orient, the Apollo, the Nabil, the Farouq, the Rashid and the Alhambra. Following the Nakba it lost 95 per cent of its population, and now, after seventy ...

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