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At the Currywurst Wagon

Lidija Haas: Deborah Levy, 2 January 2020

The Man Who Saw Everything 
by Deborah Levy.
Hamish Hamilton, 208 pp., £14.99, August 2019, 978 0 241 26802 5
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... The​ world according to Deborah Levy is like an emotionally charged dream or joke. A man accepts soup from an elderly neighbour and retches, catlike, on a mouthful of grey hair. People walk around naked in public. A corpse in a swimming pool is revealed not to be a corpse but a stammering, unstable young woman; a murdered teenage daughter turns out merely to have got her first period and to have abandoned her blood-stained bed to seek comfort in someone else’s; eventually, another body shows up in the pool ...

Sun, Suffering and Savagery

Jenny Turner: Deborah Levy, 27 September 2012

Swimming Home 
by Deborah Levy.
Faber/And Other Stories, second edition, 160 pp., £7.99, September 2012, 978 0 571 29960 7
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... dealers from North London, boring, rather foodie, with an interest in old guns. The swimming pool, Levy warns us, is ‘more like a pond’ than pools usually look like in shiny brochures. But still, we think we understand what we’re seeing: the villa, the pool, the white recliners on the hot, dry terrace; ‘the bittersweet smell of lavender’; the family ...

List your enemies

Alice Spawls: Deborah Levy, 16 June 2016

Hot Milk 
by Deborah Levy.
Hamish Hamilton, 218 pp., £12.99, March 2016, 978 0 241 14654 5
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... as is my shame at sleeping five nights of the week in the storeroom above the Coffee House). Deborah Levy is interested in women who don’t have homes and aren’t sure where to look for them, who sleep above shops or coffee houses, who seem to keep themselves displaced and feel easiest when they’re travelling or alone; women who like to dissect ...

Short Cuts

Jenny Diski: The Future of Publishing, 5 January 2012

... after the manuscript was first submitted to W.H. Smith, who said that it wouldn’t sell enough. Deborah Levy has recently had a new novel out, good enough to make you want to read it again as soon as you’ve finished it. Numerous mainstream publishers decided not to take it on because, as she explained, ‘the fear among those who admired it was that ...

On Hope Mirrlees

Clair Wills, 10 September 2020

... which offers historical context and some account of the poem’s original reception; a foreword by Deborah Levy, which doesn’t know what it’s doing but is determined to show support; and a little crowd of jacket puffs. We learn that Harrison and Mirrlees knew Gertrude Stein but weren’t part of the avant-garde set; that there are buried references to ...

In Service

Anthony Thwaite, 18 May 1989

The Remains of the Day 
by Kazuo Ishiguro.
Faber, 245 pp., £10.99, May 1989, 0 571 15310 0
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I served the King of England 
by Bohumil Hrabal, translated by Paul Wilson.
Chatto, 243 pp., £12.95, May 1989, 0 7011 3462 3
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Beautiful Mutants 
by Deborah Levy.
Cape, 90 pp., £9.95, May 1989, 0 224 02651 8
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When the monster dies 
by Kate Pullinger.
Cape, 173 pp., £10.95, May 1989, 9780224026338
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The Colour of Memory 
by Geoff Dyer.
Cape, 228 pp., £11.95, May 1989, 0 224 02585 6
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Sexual Intercourse 
by Rose Boyt.
Cape, 160 pp., £10.95, May 1989, 0 224 02666 6
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The Children’s Crusade 
by Rebecca Brown.
Picador, 121 pp., £10.95, March 1989, 0 330 30529 8
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... depressing, stuck in bleak unmediated attitudes of despair. Later, I came to make distinctions. Deborah Levy’s Beautiful Mutants is recognisably a prose poem, inhabited by characters who sound as if they have survived from some old Third Programme verse play circa 1950 – The Poet, The Prostitute, The Banker, The Golden Slut etc. It is also the most ...

Diary

Marina Warner: Medea, 3 December 2015

... attracted powerful female interpreters: Maria Callas in Pasolini’s film (1969), Fiona Shaw in Deborah Warner’s production (2001), and among writers, Toni Morrison, who slants the myth through her novel Beloved (1987), as does Marina Carr more directly in her play By the Bog of Cats (1998), which is set in a traveller community in Ireland. Rachel ...

Boxing the City

Gaby Wood, 31 July 1997

Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell 
by Deborah Solomon.
Cape, 426 pp., £25, June 1997, 0 224 04242 4
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... boxes to amuse Robert, or that he was influenced by the miniaturised life of Robert’s train set. Deborah Solomon finds no evidence for this, though it appears that the meals Joseph made for Robert ‘always consisted of the most incredible colours ... He used to squeeze violets on top of mushroom soup to make it lilac-coloured.’ If he had not seen some Max ...

Desire Was Everywhere

Adam Shatz, 16 December 2010

Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari: Intersecting Lives 
by François Dosse, translated by Deborah Glassman.
Columbia, 651 pp., £26, August 2010, 978 0 231 14560 2
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... The ‘philosophy of desire’ was born in 1969, Serge Gainsbourg’s année érotique, when the radical psychoanalyst Félix Guattari met the philosopher Gilles Deleuze. Today, it’s hard to imagine them not knowing each other, and easy to forget how unlikely their partnership was. François Dosse begins his biography of the two men with their first encounter, a year after the ‘events’ of 1968, which, more than anything, inspired their collaboration ...

What are we allowed to say?

David Bromwich, 22 September 2016

... blasphemy. The introductory chapter of Blasphemy, by the great American legal scholar Leonard Levy, covers ‘the Jewish trial of Jesus’; it is followed in close succession, in Levy’s account, by the Christian invention of the concept of heresy and the persecution of the Socinian and Arminian heretics and later of ...

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