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Bullshit and Beyond

Clive James, 18 February 1988

The Road to Botany Bay 
by Paul Carter.
Faber, 384 pp., £14.95, October 1987, 0 571 14551 5
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The Oxford History of Australia. Vol. IV: 1901-1942 
by Stuart Macintyre.
Oxford, 399 pp., £22.50, October 1987, 0 19 554612 1
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The Archibald Paradox: A Strange Case of Authorship 
by Sylvia Lawson.
Penguin Australia, 292 pp., AUS $12.95, September 1987, 0 14 009848 8
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The Lucky Country Revisited 
by Donald Horne.
Dent, 235 pp., AUS $34.95, October 1987, 9780867700671
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... an achievement didn’t need to make the slightest gesture towards academic respectability. When Donald Horne took over the Bulletin in 1961, he killed off the slogan ‘Australia for the White Man.’ Self-assurance was, and remains, his strong suit. Horne’s writing about Australian cultural history and current ...

In the dark

Philip Horne, 1 December 1983

The Life of Alfred Hitchcock: The Dark Side of Genius 
by Donald Spoto.
Collins, 594 pp., £12.95, May 1983, 0 00 216352 7
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Howard Hawks, Storyteller 
by Gerald Mast.
Oxford, 406 pp., £16.50, June 1983, 0 19 503091 5
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... information to light. Its blurb called it ‘the only serious biography of the man himself’. Now Donald Spoto, author of The Art of Alfred Hitchcock (1976), has undertaken to show The Dark Side of Genius, on the ground that (according to his blurb) ‘the intensely private, secretive Hitchcock eluded the serious biographer until now.’ This is unfair to ...

Life and Work

Philip Horne, 8 May 1986

Falling apart 
by Nicholas Salaman.
Secker, 190 pp., £9.95, April 1986, 0 436 44087 3
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Memoirs of Many in One 
by Alex Xenophon Demirjian Gray, edited by Patrick White.
Cape, 192 pp., £8.95, April 1986, 0 224 02371 3
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Free Agents 
by Max Apple.
Faber, 197 pp., £9.95, March 1986, 0 571 13852 7
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... with which a few of these conceits are presented: a liability to surreal turns in the fashion of Donald Barthelme, without quite the cool reticence that distances Barthelme from cuteness. But such an accusation would only be made by an unsympathetic reader, and Max Apple’s carefully measured candour in the firmest stories and pieces ought to make such ...

Maiden Aunt

Colin Kidd: Adam Smith, 7 October 2010

Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life 
by Nicholas Phillipson.
Allen Lane, 345 pp., £25, August 2010, 978 0 7139 9396 7
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Adam Smith and the Circles of Sympathy: Cosmopolitanism and moral theory 
by Fonna Forman-Barzilai.
Cambridge, 286 pp., £55, March 2010, 978 0 521 76112 3
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... ethics, politics and jurisprudence – notwithstanding its debt to professional economists such as Donald Winch – has emerged during a period when the history of economics has become at best semi-detached from economics as a discipline. Nevertheless, there remain some historically inclined economists with a keen nose for anachronism who question whether it ...

It is still mañana

Matthew Bevis: Robert Frost’s Letters, 19 February 2015

The Letters of Robert Frost, Vol. 1: 1886-1920 
edited by Donald Sheehy, Mark Richardson and Robert Faggen.
Harvard, 811 pp., £33.95, March 2014, 978 0 674 05760 9
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... phrase signifies, it points to the way tone enhances and complicates meaning: ‘Suppose Henry Horne says something offensive to a young lady named Rita when her brother Charles is by to protect her. Can you hear the two different tones in which she says their respective names, “Henry Horne! Charles!” I can hear it ...

Warrior Librarians

Neal Ascherson: Cultural Pillaging, 2 July 2020

Information Hunters: When Librarians, Soldiers and Spies Banded Together in World War Two Europe 
by Kathy Peiss.
Oxford, 296 pp., £22.99, March, 978 0 19 094461 2
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... synagogues, soon built up in a warehouse at the Offenbach Archival Depot. In 1947, Joseph Horne, its director, took in twenty freight-cars of books and archives from Bavaria. Hannah Arendt and the Jewish historian Lucy Dawidowicz were among those who worked on the often agonising question of restitution. Where should the books go – to American ...

Comedy is murder

Thomas Powers: Joseph Heller, 8 March 2012

Just One Catch: The Passionate Life of Joseph Heller 
by Tracy Daugherty.
Robson, 548 pp., £25, September 2011, 978 1 84954 172 5
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Yossarian Slept Here: When Joseph Heller was Dad and Life was a Catch-22 
by Erica Heller.
Vintage, 272 pp., £8.99, October 2011, 978 0 09 957008 0
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... It was the success of the competition that brought him up short. First had come The Gallery, John Horne Burns’s novel about the Allied occupation of Naples, which Heller admired. That gave him pause. Then Norman Mailer’s huge war novel, The Naked and the Dead, stopped him cold. Heller realised immediately that any war novel he was then likely to write ...

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