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Disgrace under Pressure

Andrew O’Hagan: Lad mags

3 June 2004
Stag & Groom Magazine 
edited by Perdita Patterson.
Hanage, 130 pp., £4, May 2004
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Zoo 
edited by Paul Merrill.
Emap East, 98 pp., £1.20, May 2004
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Nuts 
edited by Phil Hilton.
IPC, 98 pp., £1.20, May 2004
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Loaded 
edited by Martin Daubney.
IPC, 194 pp., £3.30, June 2004
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Jack 
edited by Michael Hodges.
Dennis, 256 pp., £3, May 2004
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Esquire 
edited by Simon Tiffin.
National Magazine Company, 180 pp., £3.40, June 2004
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GQ 
edited by Dylan Jones.
Condé Nast, 200 pp., £3.20, June 2004
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Men's Health 
edited by Morgan Rees.
Rodale, 186 pp., £3.40, June 2004
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Arena Homme Plus: ‘The Boys of Summer’ 
edited by Ashley Heath.
Emap East, 300 pp., £5, April 2004
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Stag & Groom Magazine 
edited by Perdita Patterson.
Hanage, 130 pp., £4, May 2004
Show More
Zoo 
edited by Paul Merrill.
Emap East, 98 pp., £1.20, May 2004
Show More
Nuts 
edited by Phil Hilton.
IPC, 98 pp., £1.20, May 2004
Show More
Loaded 
edited by Martin Daubney.
IPC, 194 pp., £3.30, June 2004
Show More
Jack 
edited by Michael Hodges.
Dennis, 256 pp., £3, May 2004
Show More
Esquire 
edited by Simon Tiffin.
National Magazine Company, 180 pp., £3.40, June 2004
Show More
GQ 
edited by Dylan Jones.
Condé Nast, 200 pp., £3.20, June 2004
Show More
Men’s Health 
edited by Morgan Rees.
Rodale, 186 pp., £3.40, June 2004
Show More
Arena Homme Plus: ‘The Boys of Summer’ 
edited by Ashley Heath.
Emap East, 300 pp., £5, April 2004
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... A spokesman admits that the cancellation of the Saturday night sleeper from London to Aberdeen ‘until the end of time’ is a bitter blow for those who like to wake up on a Sunday morning to the munching of Highland cattle, but there can be no question of having the train back, say the men at Euston. They can’t find a single soul who’ll agree to work the shift. ‘It was like an alcoholic bullet ...

Shapeshifter

Ian Penman: Elvis looks for meaning

24 September 2014
Elvis Has Left the Building: The Day the King Died 
by Dylan Jones.
Duckworth, 307 pp., £16.99, July 2014, 978 0 7156 4856 8
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Elvis Presley: A Southern Life 
by Joel Williamson.
Oxford, 384 pp., £25, November 2014, 978 0 19 986317 4
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... it was the last stop on the line. Punk and Elvis may not have got into bed together, but there was definitely some Oedipal tension in the mucosal late 1970s air. Early in Elvis Has Left the Building DylanJones, the editor of GQ, brushes against some of the paradoxes of Elvis in the age of punk. But it never goes much further than that. We get nearly as much of the author’s own biography as Presley ...

The Powyses

D.A.N. Jones

7 August 1980
After My Fashion 
by John Cowper Powys.
Picador, 286 pp., £2.50, June 1980, 0 330 26049 9
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Weymouth Sands 
by John Cowper Powys.
Picador, 567 pp., £2.95, June 1980, 0 330 26050 2
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Recollections of the Powys Brothers 
edited by Belinda Humfrey.
Peter Owen, 288 pp., £9.95, May 1980, 0 7206 0547 4
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John Cowper Powys and David JonesA Comparative Study 
by Jeremy Hooker.
Enitharmon, 54 pp., £3.75, April 1979, 0 901111 85 6
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The Hollowed-Out Elder Stalk 
by Roland Mathias.
Enitharmon, 158 pp., £4.85, May 1979, 0 901111 87 2
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John Cowper Powys and the Magical Quest 
by Morine Krissdottir.
Macdonald, 218 pp., £8.95, February 1980, 0 354 04492 3
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... general reading public. My own father, a suburban civil servant, had half a dozen volumes of T.F. Powys, but I, though liking the author’s way with words, could not see the point of his stories. Dylan Thomas’s broadcasts similarly appealed to my father (‘the bullish fields,’ he would say, savouring the words), and it was Dylan Thomas who ‘sent up’ T.F. Powys so memorably on the BBC Home ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Bob Dylan’s Tall Tales

21 October 2004
... group so far to have returned the compliment, admitting to being Tory, is Busted – possibly the saddest band on the planet. A notable if unsurprising absence from the Vote for Change parade is Bob Dylan, who was misquoted by Jimmy Carter when he accepted the Democratic nomination in 1976, and who hasn’t said a straight word about politics for forty years. In a recent interview in the Sunday ...

Wear flames in your hair

William Skidelsky: Jonathan Lethem and back-street superheroes

24 June 2004
The Fortress of Solitude 
by Jonathan Lethem.
Faber, 511 pp., £12.99, January 2004, 0 571 21933 0
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... he eventually solves Frank’s murder. On the face of it, Lethem’s big, sprawling new novel – which could also have been called Motherless Brooklyn – is quite different. It tells the story of Dylan Ebdus, who grows up in Brooklyn during the 1970s, and whose mother abandons him when he is a teenager. It is obviously autobiographical: Lethem was raised in the same part of Brooklyn as Dylan, and ...

Forget the Dylai Lama

Thomas Jones: Bob Dylan

6 November 2003
Dylan's Visions of Sin 
by Christopher Ricks.
Viking, 517 pp., £25, October 2003, 9780670801336
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... The object of his satire is the paranoid and xenophobic response of some of his fellow Americans to the threat posed by a sinister and nebulous enemy from the other side of the world. It could be Bob Dylan performing his ‘Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues’ (‘I discovered there was red stripes on the American flag’); but the year is 2002, and the song is ‘Talkin’ Al Kida Blues’ (‘Cuba ...
5 February 1987
No Direction Home: The Life and Music of Bob Dylan 
by Robert Shelton.
New English Library, 573 pp., £14.95, October 1986, 0 450 04843 8
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... Portraits require sitters. Portraits of the famous, which often seem designed for target practice, require the sitters to be sitting ducks as well. But Bob Dylan can’t stand sitting. Try playing chess with him: ‘His knees bounce up against the table so much you think you are at a séance. The pieces keep jumping around the board. But he beats me every ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Blurbs and puffs

20 July 2006
... face, join the circus of publicity and sales. I Loved You for Your Voice by Sélim Nassib (Europa, £8.99) is a novel based on the life of the Egyptian singer Om Kalthoum. It carries a plug from Bob Dylan: ‘Om Kalthoum is great. She really is.’ This is unenlightening for three reasons: first, Om Kalthoum’s greatness isn’t in dispute; second, Dylan will plug anything these days (remember those ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Dodgy Latin

20 February 2003
... Latin’s a dead language,/As dead as dead can be:/First it killed the Romans,/And now it’s killing me.’ The Education Secretary was, unsurprisingly, sharply criticised; not least by Peter Jones, a Spectator columnist, who told the BBC that ‘a calm, reasoned and balanced judgment would put it down to pig ignorance and blind prejudice’ – open-eyed prejudice being, I suppose, more to his ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: The Size of Wales

23 May 2002
... size of Wales. Nonetheless, Cervantes’s romance has been voted the best book ever by a bunch of writers – a hundred or so well-known authors from 54 countries, not including Isabel Allende, Bob Dylan or Gabriel García Márquez, who admirably declined to vote. The Guardian did a vox pop. New Puritan about town Nicholas Blincoe rather proudly let slip that he’s read 81 of the top 100; smashing ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Godot on a bike

5 February 2004
... Flaubert couldn’t be more right: what makes his heroine Emma Bovary rather than Delphine Delamare, c’est lui. Writers must get tired of answering crass questions – and not only writers. Bob Dylan, when asked by a journalist what his songs were ‘about’, said: ‘Some of my songs are about four minutes, some are about five minutes and some, believe it or not, are about eleven or twelve ...

Everything is good news

Seamus Perry: Dylan​ Thomas’s Moment

20 November 2014
The Collected Poems of Dylan​ Thomas: The New Centenary Edition 
edited by John Goodby.
Weidenfeld, 416 pp., £20, October 2014, 978 0 297 86569 8
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Under Milk Wood: The Definitive Edition 
edited by Walford Davies and Ralph Maud.
Phoenix, 208 pp., £7.99, May 2014, 978 1 78022 724 5
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Collected Stories 
by Dylan​ Thomas.
Phoenix, 384 pp., £8.99, May 2014, 978 1 78022 730 6
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A Dylan​ Thomas Treasury: Poems, Stories and Broadcasts 
Phoenix, 186 pp., £7.99, May 2014, 978 1 78022 726 9Show More
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... Dylan Thomas’s​ foredoomed premature death feels intrinsic to his late romanticism, part of what made him the ‘Rimbaud of Cwmdonkin Drive’, as he labelled himself. But he could have escaped the ...

At The Thirteenth Hour

William Wootten: David Jones

25 September 2003
Wedding Poems 
by David Jones, edited by Thomas Dilworth.
Enitharmon, 88 pp., £12, April 2002, 1 900564 87 4
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David JonesWriter and Artist 
by Keith Alldritt.
Constable, 208 pp., £18.99, April 2003, 1 84119 379 8
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... David Jones was staying in the Chelsea flat of the BBC’s Assistant Director of Programme Planning, Harman Grisewood, as the bombs fell on London in the autumn of 1940. During one raid, a near miss blew a bus ...

Got to go make that dollar

Alex Abramovich: Otis Redding

3 January 2019
Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life 
by Jonathan Gould.
Crown, 544 pp., £12.99, May 2018, 978 0 307 45395 2
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...  ‘“Got to go make that dollar” became his catchphrase around this time,’ Gould writes – but when he came home, it was to a 270-acre ranch, which Redding called ‘the Big O Ranch’, in Jones County, twenty miles outside Macon. Although he had bristled at anything ‘country’, the life of a country squire was the one that he’d settled on. In 1966, he began to cross over in earnest ...

Modern Wales

Rosalind Mitchison

19 November 1981
Rebirth of a Nation: Wales 1880-1980 
by Kenneth O. Morgan.
Oxford, 463 pp., £15, March 1981, 0 19 821736 6
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... Welsh who enjoy two native languages have claimed the right to dictate the typed and degree of Welshness owned by the other 80 per cent. Dr Morgan quotes without apparent dissent the comment of Glyn Jones, a Welsh-speaker who has chosen to write in English, that ‘the only thing English about an Anglo-Welsh writer ought to be his language,’ and repeats the attack by Bobi Jones, a learner of Welsh ...

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