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Andy Beckett: Dennis Cooper’s short novel, 21 May 1998

Guide 
by Dennis Cooper.
Serpent’s Tail, 176 pp., £8.99, March 1998, 1 85242 586 5
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... Reading Dennis Cooper can make you queasy. This short novel is the fourth in a five-volume cycle concerned almost exclusively, so far, with sexual violence. Closer (1989) subjected an American teenager to anal mutilation; Frisk (1991) concerned the butchery of young Dutch boys; and Try (1994) in which one critic detected ‘a gentler maturity’, saw an adopted son greedily penetrated by his father ...
How far can you go? 
by David Lodge.
Secker, 244 pp., £5.95, April 1980, 0 436 25661 4
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Life before Man 
by Margaret Atwood.
Cape, 317 pp., £5.95, March 1980, 0 224 01782 9
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Desirable Residence 
by Lettice Cooper.
Gollancz, 191 pp., £5.50, April 1980, 0 575 02787 8
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A Month in the Country 
by J.L. Carr.
Harvester, 110 pp., £6.50, April 1980, 0 85527 328 3
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... to it in different degrees. Angela, the good ‘lovely’ girl, has never doubted or questioned. Dennis comes to mass because he cannot bear to let Angela out of his sight. Michael comes but never takes communion; he believes himself to be in a state of mortal sin because he masturbates. Miles is a recent convert and enjoys the ritual, which the born ...

In the Box

Dale Peck, 6 February 1997

How Stella Got Her Groove Back 
by Terry McMillan.
Viking, 368 pp., £16, September 1996, 0 670 86990 2
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Push 
by Sapphire.
Secker, 142 pp., £7.99, September 1996, 0 436 20291 3
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The Autobiography of My Mother 
by Jamaica Kincaid.
Vintage, 228 pp., £8.99, September 1996, 0 09 973841 4
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... of the first half of this decade, writers as diverse in talent and sensibility as Rebecca Brown, Dennis Cooper, Kathy Acker, Gary Indiana and Sarah Schulman, writers whose main similarity seemed to be that they all started out at small presses before being ‘discovered’ by big houses. By now – by which I mean, in the most Nixonian sense of the ...

Wodehouse in America

D.A.N. Jones, 20 May 1982

P.G. Wodehouse: A Literary Biography 
by Benny Green.
Joseph, 256 pp., £8.95, October 1981, 0 907516 04 1
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Wodehouse on Wodehouse: Bring on the girls (with Guy Bolton), Performing Flea, Over Seventy 
Penguin, 655 pp., £2.95, September 1981, 0 14 005245 3Show More
P.G. Wodehouse: An Illustrated Biography 
by Joseph Connolly.
Eel Pie, 160 pp., £3.95, September 1981, 0 906008 44 1
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P.G. Wodehouse: A Centenary Celebration 1881-1981 
edited by James Heineman and Donald Bensen.
Oxford, 197 pp., £40, February 1982, 0 19 520357 7
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The World of P.G. Wodehouse 
by Herbert Warren Wind.
Hutchinson, 256 pp., £5.95, October 1981, 0 09 145670 3
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... denounced Wodehouse’s broadcasts, with the encouragement of the Minister of Information, Duff Cooper, an upper-class politician keen to dissociate himself from other Tories who were held to be soft on Nazism. It may seem strange that the Anglo-American comedian should have been so important. An old dust-cover, reproduced on Benny Green’s new ...

Yesterday

Frank Kermode, 27 July 1989

The Pleasures of Peace: Art and Imagination in Post-War Britain 
by Bryan Appleyard.
Faber, 367 pp., £12.99, June 1989, 0 571 13722 9
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... a poem by Kingsley Amis, Four Quartets, Brideshead Revisited, Nineteen Eighty-Four, William Cooper, Angus Wilson, Horizon, architectural Modernism and the Festival of Britain. Just as you think something important is going to be left out it turns up: the bourgeois intellectual love-affair with France, the nascent aspirations towards internationalism in ...

Rise and Fall of Radio Features

Marilyn Butler, 7 August 1980

Louis MacNeice in the BBC 
by Barbara Coulton.
Faber, 215 pp., £12.50, May 1980, 0 571 11537 3
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Best Radio Plays of 1979 
Eyre Methuen/BBC, 192 pp., £6.95, June 1980, 0 413 47130 6Show More
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... commissioning work for radio from avant-garde figures like Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and Giles Cooper. Equally ominous, News and Current Affairs in both Sound and Television built dynamic new empires, which attracted formidable young talents, took broadcasting boldly into politics, and used Features techniques when it suited them. The urgency and public ...

Tibbles

Barbara Everett, 17 October 1985

Alexander Pope 
by Maynard Mack.
Yale, 975 pp., £15.95, August 1985, 0 300 03391 5
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Pope’s ‘Essay on Man’ 
by A.D. Nuttall.
Allen and Unwin, 250 pp., £15, February 1984, 0 04 800017 5
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The Last and Greatest Art: Some Unpublished Poetical Manuscripts of Alexander Pope 
by Maynard Mack.
Associated University Presses, 454 pp., £48.95, June 1984, 0 87413 183 9
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The New Oxford Book of 18th-Century Verse 
by Roger Lonsdale.
Oxford, 870 pp., £15, November 1984, 0 19 214122 8
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Collected in Himself: Essays Critical, Biographical and Bibliographical on Pope and Some of his Contemporaries 
by Maynard Mack.
Associated University Presses, 569 pp., £26.50, March 1983, 0 87413 182 0
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... chatt’ring, grinning, mouthing, jabb’ring all, And Noise and Norton, Brangling, and Breval, Dennis and Dissonance, and Captious Art, And Snip-snap short, and Interruption Smart. Hold (cry’d the Queen) a Catcall each shall win ... A Catcall is that shrill hostile whistle from the gallery, but also (perhaps) the noise that Tibbles ...

Diary

David Bromwich: The Establishment President, 13 May 2010

... research in return for a guarantee of regional security; and the counter-pressure from Dennis Ross, the antenna and prod of the Israel lobby within the White House, urging a series of tripwires by which sanctions would be followed by crippling sanctions and the failure of the latter would argue the necessity of bombing. In Afghanistan and ...

Always the Same Dream

Ferdinand Mount: Princess Margaret, 4 January 2018

Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret 
by Craig Brown.
Fourth Estate, 423 pp., £16.99, September 2017, 978 0 00 820361 0
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... the Royal Command Performance of the film: ‘Tony saw Love Story in New York. Hated it.’ When Dennis Main Wilson says, ‘Ma’am, I have the honour to produce a little show called Till Death Us Do Part,’ she cuts down his faux modesty with: ‘Isn’t that that frightfully dreary thing in the East End?’ At the end of Carousel at the National ...

From Progress to Catastrophe

Perry Anderson: The Historical Novel, 28 July 2011

... Kohlhaas – is a product of romantic nationalism. This is as true of Tolstoy as it is of Scott, Cooper, Manzoni, Galdós, Jókai, Sienkiewicz or so many others. The original matrix of this nationalism was the European reaction against Napoleonic expansion. Although this had popular roots, above all in the Tyrol, Spain and Germany, it was everywhere also ...

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