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Jesus Christie

Richard Wollheim, 3 October 1985

J.T. Christie: A Great Teacher 
by Donald Lindsay, Roger Young and Hugh Lloyd-Jones.
Plume, 211 pp., £12.50, September 1984, 0 947656 00 6
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... been away to boarding-school. Amongst my year my only companion in these disadvantages was Donald Swann, the musician. A science teacher, who had the schoolmaster’s eye for the frailties of those whom he was supposed to teach, called us ‘the Swollheim’. The name allowed massive economies in sarcasm. Two attempts to prepare me for my new life were ...

A Pie Every Night

Deborah Friedell: Schizophrenia in the Family, 18 February 2021

Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family 
by Robert Kolker.
Quercus, 377 pp., £25, April 2020, 978 0 385 54376 7
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... in music and speed-reading, and were superb athletes. All the boys were altar boys. The eldest, Donald, was a football star, wrestling star, track star, a good-looking boy who dated a cheerleader. In 1965, as a student at Colorado State, he jumped into a bonfire – he couldn’t say why – and needed treatment for burns. A few months later, he went back ...

Looking back in anger

Hilary Mantel, 21 November 1991

Almost a Gentleman. An Autobiography: Vol. II 1955-66 
by John Osborne.
Faber, 273 pp., £14.99, November 1991, 0 571 16261 4
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... to advantage; the opportunity to loll among the palms with Jean Simmons went to the Welsh actor Donald Houston. Houston was blond and wholesome, and had a long career, much of it in B-movies; it’s interesting to think that John Osborne might have enjoyed it in his stead. Osborne as the fourth intern in Doctor in the House, alongside Dirk Bogarde, Kenneth ...

At the Rob Tufnell Gallery

August Kleinzahler: Christopher Logue, 5 November 2015

... as Cardinal Richelieu in Ken Russell’s 1971 film The Devils, Logue boasted to the director Lindsay Anderson that he had a future as ‘the only English poet/film star’. To which Anderson responded, sighing: ‘You will never be a star. You might become a featured player specialising in intellectual villains, artistic misfits etc.’ ‘Dear John ...

Home Stretch

John Sutherland: David Storey, 17 September 1998

A Serious Man 
by David Storey.
Cape, 359 pp., £16.99, June 1998, 9780224051583
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by David Storey.
Vintage, 555 pp., £6.99, June 1998, 0 09 927408 6
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... take it lying down: no longer a sportsman but still a man. Storey adapted his original novel for Lindsay Anderson, who directed the film, but he curtailed the ending. On the printed page, after Machin’s legs have ‘betrayed’ him on the pitch, there is a final scene in the changing-room. The players have had their communal bath. Someone, inevitably, has ...

Damsons and Custard

Paul Laity: Documentary cinema’s unsung poet, 3 March 2005

Humphrey Jennings 
by Kevin Jackson.
Picador, 448 pp., £30, October 2004, 0 330 35438 8
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... out: ‘Look at me! … Don’t you think I’m beautiful?’ In fact, she thought he looked like Donald Duck, and insisted he put his clothes on and take her to meet André Breton. ‘There has only been one really good edition of anything that Shakespeare wrote,’ he told the writer Ruthven Todd, ‘and that is an edition of Venus and Adonis that I did ...

Mr Trendy Sicko

James Wolcott, 23 May 2019

by Brett Easton Ellis.
Picador, 261 pp., £16.99, May 2019, 978 1 5290 1239 2
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... seems a flimsy pretence. Yet for all its flaws, American Psycho was prophetic in its invocation of Donald Trump as aspirational monster-mogul and endures as an exhibit of slasher-film iconography owing to Mary Harron’s screen adaptation from 2000. The film’s spotless scene design (everything showroom shiny, the downtown loft as laboratory, anticipating the ...

Ruin it your own way

Susan Pedersen, 4 June 2020

Tastes of Honey: The Making of Shelagh Delaney and a Cultural Revolution 
by Selina Todd.
Chatto, 304 pp., £18.99, August 2019, 978 1 78474 082 5
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A Taste of Honey 
by Shelagh Delaney.
Methuen, 112 pp., £14.44, November 2019, 978 1 350 13495 9
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... what mothers give and resent giving, of what daughters learn and hate learning. Helen isn’t what Donald Winnicott in 1953 called a ‘good enough mother’ – not by a long shot. But she gave what she could: she didn’t abort Jo, she kept her alive and taught her what she knew of the world. Jo knows, and hates, that she’s repeating the script: ‘I ...

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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... in Life by Other Means are warm in their praise of Enright’s sanity, humanity and intelligence. Donald Davie agrees that Enright is ‘deeply humane, indeed humanitarian’, but then argues that this humanitarianism continually inhibits his poetry. Davie suggests that the pressure of the responsibilities entailed on Enright by his refusal to accept the ...
The Movement: English Poetry and Fiction of the 1950s 
by Blake Morrison.
Oxford, 326 pp., £8.50, May 1980, 9780192122100
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The Oxford Book of Contemporary Verse 1945-1980 
by D.J. Enright.
Oxford, 299 pp., £7.50, May 1980, 0 19 214108 2
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... rather than to consider them as poems. In just this way, the author, despite strong guidance from Donald Davie on the point, simply misunderstands a poem by Amis (pages 79-80). It’s coming to something when these apostles of the new lucidity, proponents of the view that the poet must do his share and not leave the reader to work out his obscure half-written ...

I didn’t do anything wrong in the first place

David Runciman: In the White House, 11 October 2018

Fear: Trump in the White House 
by Bob Woodward.
Simon & Schuster, 448 pp., £20, September 2018, 978 1 4711 8129 0
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... operandi. When he reaches a tricky impasse in a conversation, his way out is to make a job offer. Lindsay Graham, the Republican senator, came to see him to explain that the Afghan war was unwinnable. ‘“We’re going to fail on the political,” [Graham] said. A peace settlement with the Taliban was the only way out … Trump had a solution. Did Graham ...


Alan Bennett: Finding My Métier, 4 January 2018

... the Fortune Theatre), The Changing Room and Home; effortless they seemed to be, particularly under Lindsay Anderson’s direction. I met Gielgud when he was rehearsing Home, in which he starred with Ralph Richardson, and he sang David’s praises. ‘He’s the ideal playwright. Never says a word.’5 May. Angels in America opens at the National. When I saw ...

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