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How to be Green

Mary Douglas, 13 September 1990

A Green Manifesto for the 1990s 
by Penny Kemp and Derek Wall.
Penguin, 212 pp., £4.99, July 1990, 0 14 013272 4
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Social Philosophy and Ecological Scarcity 
by Keekok Lee.
Routledge, 425 pp., £40, September 1989, 0 415 03220 2
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Mother Country 
by Marilynne Robinson.
Faber, 261 pp., £12.99, November 1989, 0 571 15453 0
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Blueprint for a Green Economy 
by David Pearce, Anil Markandya and Edward Barbier.
Earthscan, 192 pp., £6.95, September 1989, 1 85383 066 6
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TheFate of the Forest: Developers, Destroyers and Defenders of the Amazon 
by Susanna Hecht and Alexander Cockburn.
Verso, 366 pp., £16.95, November 1989, 0 86091 261 2
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Thinking Green: An Anthology of Essential Ecological Writing 
edited by Michael Allaby.
Barrie and Jenkins, 250 pp., £14.95, October 1989, 0 7126 3489 4
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... 1990s is by two leading members of the Green Party, Penny Kemp, Green Party Co-Chair 1988-89, and Derek Wall, an active spokesman for Green politics. The Green political platform upon which it is based has already been spelt out in The Manifesto for a Sustainable Society (1974, now updated). To the question, ‘How to be green?’ a frontispiece note ...

What the hell’s that creep up to?

Thomas Jones: J. Robert Lennon, 21 November 2013

Familiar 
by J. Robert Lennon.
Serpent’s Tail, 205 pp., £11.99, August 2013, 978 1 84668 947 5
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... isn’t the same, because it ‘could be described as landscaped, well cared for’. Her husband, Derek, appears smiling at the door, takes her suitcase from the car, carries it into the house, where dinner is cooking and a bottle of wine is open, and seems to expect her to join him in performing a sinister parody of suburban marital contentment that is ...

The Pain of History

Stephen Brook, 19 February 1981

The Star-Apple Kingdom 
by Derek Walcott.
Cape, 58 pp., £2.50, March 1980, 0 224 01780 2
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Selected Poems 1961-1978 
by David Holbrook.
Anvil, 143 pp., £5.95, November 1980, 0 85646 066 4
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Death Valley and Other Poems in America 
by Alan Ross.
London Magazine Editions, 92 pp., £3, June 1980, 0 904388 32 8
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Poems 1955-1980 
by Roy Fisher.
Oxford, 193 pp., £7.95, November 1980, 0 19 211935 4
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A.R.T.H.U.R. & M.A.R.T.H.A. 
by Laurence Lerner.
Secker, 69 pp., £2.95, November 1980, 0 436 24440 3
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... Derek Walcott is now 50 years old, but there is none of the placidity or mellowing of middle age in The Star-Apple Kingdom. If Naipaul is the great novelist of the colonial experience, Walcott has a claim to be considered the great poet of the same experience. They share an acute sense of belonging to more than one culture and hence to none ...

Everything is susceptible

Douglas Dunn, 20 March 1980

Poems 1962-1978 
by Derek Mahon.
Oxford, 117 pp., £5.75, November 1979, 0 19 211898 6
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The Echo Gate 
by Michael Longley.
Secker, 53 pp., £3, November 1979, 0 436 25680 0
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Poets from the North of Ireland 
edited by Frank Ormsby.
Blackstaff, 232 pp., £6.50, October 1979, 9780856402012
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... Derek Mahon’s Poems 1962 – 1978 includes most of his three earlier books, to which he has added a few uncollected poems and about 35 pages of new work. Readers will discover that poems with which they thought themselves familiar have been retitled and in some cases extensively revised. Although precocious in that there are poems here which must have been written when Mahon was as young as 20 or 21, he looks as if he has been compensating for a lack of productivity by going over earlier work once again ...

Long Goodbye

Derek Mahon, 20 November 1980

Why Brownlee left 
by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 48 pp., £3, September 1980, 0 571 11592 6
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Poems 1956-1973 
by Thomas Kinsella.
Dolmen, 192 pp., £7.50, September 1980, 0 85105 365 3
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Constantly Singing 
by James Simmons.
Blackstaff, 90 pp., £3.95, June 1980, 0 85640 217 6
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A Part of Speech 
by Joseph Brodsky.
Oxford, 151 pp., £4.95, September 1980, 0 19 211939 7
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Collected poems 1931-1974 
by Lawrence Durrell.
Faber, 350 pp., £9, September 1980, 0 571 18009 4
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... how a shower of rain Had stopped so cleanly across Golightly’s lane It might have been a wall of glass That had toppled over. He stood there for ages To wonder which side, if any, he should be on. The point of the poem seems to reside in the last line: but anyone familiar with Muldoon’s work will take a closet look at ‘Golightly’s lane’, and ...

Bloody Sunday Report

Murray Sayle: Back to Bloody Sunday, 11 July 2002

... from Japan, my friend, colleague on the Sunday Times and journalistic partner on Bloody Sunday, Derek Humphry, from Eugene, Oregon – had flown in at the invitation (and expense) of HMG to help the Bloody Sunday Inquiry in its renewed investigation into what had happened on that never-forgotten, never-forgiven day. Muzak crooned in the arrival hall, stalls ...

Nayled to the wow

Tom Shippey, 7 January 1993

The Life of Geoffrey Chaucer 
by Derek Pearsall.
Blackwell, 365 pp., £19.95, September 1992, 1 55786 205 2
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A Wyf ther was: Essays in Honour of Paule Mertens-Fonck 
edited by Juliette Dor.
University of Liège, 300 pp., June 1992, 2 87233 004 6
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Hochon’s Arrow: The Social Imagination of 14th-Century Texts 
by Paul Strohm.
Princeton, 205 pp., £27.50, November 1992, 0 691 06880 1
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... only by the French, and only till he was killed in battle at Pavia. There is an irony, on which Derek Pearsall ends his book, in the extirpation of the Chaucer line around 1539 at virtually the same moment as the first printing of Chaucer’s Collected Works in 1532. But the irony had been there all the time, in the almost unbroken refusal of Chaucer’s ...

Who is Stewart Home?

Iain Sinclair, 23 June 1994

... reinvented as a Vietnam-vintage Irish citizen, removes all the offending oil paintings from the wall: jewelled landscapes in oil; lively, naive renderings of the headland on which the cottages have been built. Expressionist weather systems have been brought indoors, a wall of light in the smokey darkness. These endearing ...

Tristram Rushdie

Pat Rogers, 15 September 1983

Shame 
by Salman Rushdie.
Cape, 287 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 224 02952 5
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Scandal 
by A.N. Wilson.
Hamish Hamilton, 233 pp., £8.95, September 1983, 0 241 11101 3
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Love and Glory 
by Melvyn Bragg.
Secker, 252 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 436 06716 1
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The Complete Knowledge of Sally Fry 
by Sylvia Murphy.
Gollancz, 172 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 575 03353 3
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... addresses the matter head-on – that is to say, full-frontally. At the centre of the story stands Derek Blore, ‘next Prime Minister but three’, an unimaginative careerist who happens to have a sexual kink and an understanding wife. ‘She found herself saying that she was proud of Derek ... It was not untrue; it was ...
... chance of seeing Heathcote play the part of Prospero in a film version of The Tempest directed by Derek Jarman. ‘Isn’t that bit about me breaking my staff and drowning my book supposed to be rather important?’ he asked me. ‘Well, Derek said he had trouble fitting it into his conception of the play and I think it’s ...

Scrabble

Reg Gadney, 26 January 1995

The Escape from Whitemoor Prison on Friday, 9 September 1994: The Woodcock Enquiry 
by John Woodcock.
HMSO, 144 pp., £16.50, December 1994, 0 10 127412 2
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... weld-mesh fence more than five metres in height surrounds it; beyond that there is an equally high wall particularly difficult to negotiate because at the top there is an anti-escape ‘beak’, a smooth tubular overhang with an angled protrusion on the inner face. Inside the wall and fence, behind a second concrete security ...

Urgency Is Not Enough

Peter Campbell, 6 April 1995

Don’t Leave Me This Way: Art in the Age of Aids 
compiled by Ted Gott.
Thames and Hudson, 246 pp., £12.95, March 1995, 0 642 13030 2
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The End of Innocence: Britain in the Time of Aids 
by Simon Garfield.
Faber, 406 pp., £17.50, November 1994, 0 571 15353 4
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... in which the personal, the imaginative and the technical are intertwined. Garfield must take on Derek Jarman as artist as well as activist. The images of the Princess of Wales sitting with people with Aids, and an account of Neville Hodgkinson, the Sunday Times medical correspondent who has argued that HIV does not cause Aids, cannot be separated from the ...

How to die

John Sutherland, 13 February 1992

Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying 
by Derek Humphry.
Hemlock Society, 192 pp., $16.95, April 1991, 0 9606030 3 4
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... a motor-car, a length of rubber hose, a quiet country lane and a bottle of scotch. But in general, Derek Humphry’s warning is a sound one: ‘Beware of taking ideas about death and dying from novels and films.’ But where else are they to be found? ‘Ideas’ about suicide are strongly discouraged by the British authorities. They decree a protective ...

Openly reticent

Jonathan Coe, 9 November 1989

Grand Inquisitor: Memoirs 
by Robin Day.
Weidenfeld, 296 pp., £14.95, October 1989, 0 297 79660 7
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Beginning 
by Kenneth Branagh.
Chatto, 244 pp., £12.99, September 1989, 0 7011 3388 0
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Storm over 4: A Personal Account 
by Jeremy Isaacs.
Weidenfeld, 215 pp., £14.95, September 1989, 0 297 79538 4
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... you? What are you?’ ... Squirming. More breathless fear. Cornered now. Literally against the wall. My lapels were seized. ‘What are you?’ Mumble. ‘What?’ ‘A divvy.’ Hysterical sneering. Flashman laughter. The bell rang. Escape, thank Christ. Is it only actors who use the word ‘Christ’ like this any more? Branagh does it all the ...

Great American Disaster

Christopher Reid, 8 December 1988

To Urania: Selected Poems 1965-1985 
by Joseph Brodsky.
Penguin, 174 pp., £4.99, September 1988, 9780140585803
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... of us for whom the Cyrillic alphabet is as the jagged bottle-glass along the top of a high brick wall may be entitled to our opinions. Certainly, that sort of ignorance has not deterred the blurb-writers or big-name eulogists. Among the extreme claims made on his behalf, Michael Hofmann’s recent hailing of Brodsky as the true successor to Robert Lowell and ...

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