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Men at forty

Derek Mahon, 21 August 1980

Selected Poems 
by Donald Justice.
Anvil, 137 pp., £3.50, May 1980, 0 85646 058 3
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by C.H. Sisson.
Carcanet, 80 pp., £2.95, April 1980, 0 85635 332 9
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... The first poem by Donald Justice I ever read was the much anthologised sestina, ‘Here in Katmandu’: We have climbed the mountain, There’s nothing more to do ... It seemed to me then, and seems to me now, a beautiful and mysterious object, resonant and yet resistant to paraphrase. It might be said that it is a poem of regret for the death of idealism, a poem about coming to terms with quotidian reality, and, therefore, in some sense about ‘the way we live now ...


Mark Ford: Donald Justice, 16 November 2006

Collected Poems 
by Donald Justice.
Anvil, 289 pp., £15, June 2006, 0 85646 386 8
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... Donald Justice, who died in August 2004 at the age of 78, was one of the most subtle and enchanting American poets of his generation. In ‘Variations on a text by Vallejo’, a poem anticipating his own demise, but written some three decades before it, he pictured gravediggers burying him in Miami (his home town): And one of them put his blade into the earth To lift a few clods of dirt, the black marl of Miami, And scattered the dirt, and spat, Turning away abruptly, out of respect ...

On Charles Wright

Matthew Bevis, 1 April 2021

... the Columbia School of Journalism but turned it down to attend the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where Donald Justice became his mentor. At the time, Justice was experimenting with both traditional metres and syllabics: ‘The old order was starting to break apart and a new, looser order was looming,’ as Wright ...

The State with the Prettiest Name

Michael Hofmann: ‘Florida’, 24 May 2018

by Lauren Groff.
Heinemann, 275 pp., £14.99, June 2018, 978 1 78515 188 0
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... of the time, before pharaohs and pyramids, when everything was still to come’: the Miami-born Donald Justice found the passage in Henry James for me at the beginning of my time here. ‘Saigon, 1969,’ my friend Larry Joseph said, when I sat him in Leonardo’s coffee bar a block away from campus. ‘Fucking Yucatan,’ I called it, not dismissively ...

The Ultimate Justice Show

Michael Byers: The trial of Saddam, 8 January 2004

... is a torturer, a murderer, and they had rape rooms, and this is a disgusting tyrant who deserves justice, the ultimate justice.’ With those words, spoken during a television interview on 16 December, the President of the United States tried, convicted and sentenced the former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Ostensibly, a ...

Four Poems

Donald Davie, 21 March 1985

... with, were we not happy to have them down on our grubbing level? And on that level, ours, Poetic Justice I swear made her appearance in a toga. Alzheimer’s, yes – the diagnosis was all very well, but surely George’s dealings with language had for years anticipated, almost provoked, the visitation? Such pains as he had been at – in verse, in prose, in ...

Hit by Donald Duck

Oliver Hill-Andrews: The Red Scientist, 24 May 2018

Popularising Science: The Life and Work of J.B.S. Haldane 
by Krishna Dronamraju.
Oxford, 367 pp., £26.99, February 2017, 978 0 19 933392 9
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... science under socialism could provide an age of plenty. The challenge for the biographer is to do justice to this multifarious activity, which ultimately dissipated Haldane’s overall achievement. Krishna Dronamraju – another of Haldane’s students, whom he apparently treated ‘like a son’ – mostly ducks the challenge, giving us a disjointed ...

On ‘Spoofing’

Donald MacKenzie: Spoofing, 21 May 2015

... him to stand trial in Illinois after charges were issued against him by the US Department of Justice. The DoJ alleges he was in the habit of ‘spoofing’ futures markets, by entering orders without genuinely intending to buy or sell, and that this contributed to his trading profits of about $40 million between 2010 and 2014. He is said to have done all ...

Cynical Realism

Randall Kennedy: Supreme Court Biases, 21 January 2021

... release incriminating tapes, which ordered states to permit same-sex marriage, and which rejected Donald Trump’s last-ditch pleas for a judicial coup d’état. It is also the court which ruled that African Americans, no matter their status, free or enslaved, are not citizens of the United States, that women could lawfully be prohibited from practising law ...

Cause and Effect

A.J. Ayer, 15 October 1981

Hume and the Problem of Causation 
by Tom Beauchamp and Alexander Rosenberg.
Oxford, 327 pp., £15, August 1981, 0 19 520236 8
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The Science of Legislator: The Natural Jurisprudence of David Hume and Adam Smith 
by Knud Haakonssen.
Cambridge, 240 pp., £17.50, September 1981, 0 521 23891 9
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... flyleaf of Messrs Beauchamp and Rosenberg’s book about Hume’s theory of causation, Professor Donald Davidson says of it: ‘This is certainly the best available discussion of Hume and causality. It is much more than that, however: it is the best book-length treatment of causality.’ Professor Davidson is perhaps a little biased by the fact that the ...


Deborah Friedell: Trump and Son, 22 October 2015

Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success 
by Michael D’Antonio.
Thomas Dunne, 389 pp., £18, September 2015, 978 1 250 04238 5
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... and conspicuous’. He’s undone when he’s asked to name the first two disciples. When Donald Trump said that the Bible was his favourite book, and then was asked by a reporter to name his favourite verse, he couldn’t lose because he refused to play: ‘I wouldn’t want to get into it because to me that’s very personal. You know, when I talk ...

Puck’s Dream

Mark Ford, 14 June 1990

Selected Poems 1990 
by D.J. Enright.
Oxford, 176 pp., £6.95, March 1990, 0 19 282625 5
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Life by Other Means: Essays on D.J. Enright 
edited by Jacqueline Simms.
Oxford, 208 pp., £25, March 1990, 0 19 212989 9
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Vanishing Lung Syndrome 
by Miroslav Holub, translated by David Young and Dana Habova.
Faber, 68 pp., £10.99, April 1990, 0 571 14378 4
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The Dimension of the Present Moment, and Other Essays 
by Miroslav Holub, edited by David Young.
Faber, 146 pp., £4.99, April 1990, 0 571 14338 5
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Poems Before and After: Collected English Translations 
by Miroslav Holub, translated by Ewald Osers and George Theiner.
Bloodaxe, 272 pp., £16, April 1990, 1 85224 121 7
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My Country: Collected Poems 
by Alistair Elliot.
Carcanet, 175 pp., £18.95, November 1989, 0 85635 846 0
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1953: A Version of Racine’s ‘Andromaque’ 
by Craig Raine.
Faber, 89 pp., £4.99, March 1990, 0 571 14312 1
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by Jean Racine, translated by Douglas Dunn.
Faber, 81 pp., £4.99, March 1990, 0 571 14249 4
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... This festschrift’s title, Life by Other Means, derives from an Enright poem called ‘Poetical Justice’ which muses rather more ambiguously on the relations between art and life than the stirring phrase might suggest in isolation. Dr Johnson, one of Enright’s touchstones, records how he was so shocked by Cordelia’s death in King Lear that he could ...

Ten Typical Days in Trump’s America

Eliot Weinberger, 25 October 2018

... He is referring to the FBI.*Pornography star Stormy Daniels provides a detailed description of Donald Trump’s penis. Although Trump had bragged about the size of his member in the primary debates and in campaign speeches, Daniels, based on her professional expertise, laughingly refutes this.*Hurricane Florence causes basins containing more than two ...

A Short History of the Trump Family

Sidney Blumenthal: The First Family, 16 February 2017

... The​ most enduring blight left behind by Donald Trump, long after he has smashed things up, will be the pile of books devoted to trying to make sense of him. It will grow after investigative journalists have spent years diving for hidden records, exploring subterranean corporations and foreign partners but never reaching the dark ocean bottom ...

Short Cuts

Frederick Wilmot-Smith: RBG’s Big Mistake, 8 October 2020

... praise America. The descendant of Jewish émigrés, she was about to become only the second female justice to join the US Supreme Court. But today the statement reads like an indictment: what became of her thirty years later could only happen in America too.Justices to the Supreme Court are nominated by the president and appointed, in accordance with Article ...

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