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Six French Frizeurs

David A. Bell, 10 December 1998

The Perfidy of Albion: French Perceptions of England during the French Revolution 
by Norman Hampson.
Macmillan, 210 pp., £40, June 1998, 0 333 73148 4
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Poisoning the Minds of the Lower Orders 
by Don Herzog.
Princeton, 472 pp., £18, September 1998, 0 691 04831 2
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... as numerous French politicians hoped they might do at an earlier stage in the Revolution? Why don’t they treat us the way we deserve? Of course, this peculiar pattern of love and hatred predated the French Revolution. During the Enlightenment, French writers developed the sort of inflated opinion of the English that was bound to lead to crushing ...


Iain Sinclair: The Peruvian Corporation of London, 10 October 2019

... Carlos Fermín Fitzcarrald, a brutal and precipitate rubber baron, and the inspiration for Werner Herzog’s very different, white-suited Klaus Kinski in Fitzcarraldo. Stahl was a later emanation, imposing his own myths on those of the tribal people, successfully colonising the riverside settlements we were visiting, Pampa Michi and Bajo Marankiari, and ...

The Egg-Head’s Egger-On

Christopher Hitchens: Saul Bellow keeps his word (sort of), 27 April 2000

by Saul Bellow.
Viking, 254 pp., £16.99, April 2000, 0 670 89131 2
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... in which he introduces us to his principal and only character. Right away one thought of Herzog, the super-kvetch of all kvetches. But here again, in his foreword to Bloom or ‘Bloom’, Bellow kept us guessing. As he phrased it (teasingly?): There are times when I enjoy making fun of the educated American. ...

Room Theory

Adam Mars-Jones: Joseph O’Neill, 25 September 2014

The Dog 
by Joseph O’Neill.
Fourth Estate, 241 pp., £16.99, July 2014, 978 0 00 727574 8
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... distinction: I’m not saying they were blood pearls, counterparts of today’s blood diamonds. I don’t have the evidence to support this grave charge. (We should be wary of applying the noun adjunct ‘blood’ to everything and anything that comes to us with the taint of exploited labour. It would devalue the usefulness of the term; there would be no end ...

Yuh wanna play bad?

Christopher Tayler: Henry Roth, 23 March 2006

Redemption: The Life of Henry Roth 
by Steven Kellman.
Norton, 372 pp., $16.99, September 2005, 0 393 05779 8
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Call It Sleep 
by Henry Roth.
Picador US, 462 pp., $15, July 2005, 0 312 42412 4
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... Say it!’ He trembled. ‘Yuh wanna play bad?’ ‘Now, you said it,’ she whispered. ‘Don’ forget, you said it.’ By the emphasis of her words, David knew he had crossed some awful threshold. ‘Will yuh tell?’ ‘No,’ he answered weakly. The guilt was his. ‘Yuh swear?’ ‘I swear.’ ‘Yuh know w’ea babies comm ...

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