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Dr Küng’s Fiasco

Alasdair MacIntyre, 5 February 1981

Does God exist? 
by Hans Küng, translated by Edward Quinn.
Collins, 839 pp., £12, November 1980, 0 00 215147 2
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... be a scandal to be unearthed secured the immediate attention of journalists all over the world. Edward Schillebeeckx’s work on Christology was not news until he was summoned to Rome. Then he was at once conscripted as a character in that so often rewritten melodrama – Brecht’s Galileo is the canonical text for our time – The valiant searcher for ...

Goose Girl

Josephine Quinn: Empress Theodora, 4 May 2017

Theodora: Actress, Empress, Saint 
by David Potter.
Oxford, 277 pp., £17.99, January 2016, 978 0 19 974076 5
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... But his claims have been treated as scholarly fact for far too long: as early as the 1780s Edward Gibbon declared that ‘in the exercise of supreme power, the first act of Justinian was to divide it with the woman whom he loved, the famous Theodora, whose strange elevation cannot be applauded as the triumph of female virtue.’ Theodora’s opinion no ...

Enemies on All Sides

Josephine Quinn: Masada, 12 September 2019

Masada: From Jewish Revolt to Modern Myth 
by Jodi Magness.
Princeton, 280 pp., £24, May 2019, 978 0 691 16710 7
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... to snuff out a few hundred fanatics in a blasted desert holdout seems like overkill. In 1976 Edward Luttwak in The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire tried to explain it as a lesson to others contemplating revolt: ‘the Romans would pursue rebellion even to mountain tops in remote deserts to destroy its last vestiges regardless of cost.’ If so, other ...

They burned and looted with discrimination

Josephine Quinn: A Goth named Alaric, 18 March 2021

Alaric the Goth: An Outsider’s History of the Fall of Rome 
by Douglas Boin.
Norton, 254 pp., £19.99, July 2020, 978 0 393 63569 0
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... as Trajan and Septimius Severus, who hailed from Spain and Africa. By the 18th century, however, Edward Gibbon and others had concluded that the problem was the Romans themselves, and their loss of faith in the enlightened civic values that had once made Rome great. A different response would be that the Roman Empire didn’t fall in the fifth century, or ...

The Playboy of West 29th Street

Colm Tóibín: Yeats’s Father in Exile, 25 January 2018

... since as far as I knew the original, which had been owned by the New York collector John Quinn, was in the United States. But the closer I looked, the surer I was that this was the actual self-portrait Yeats had worked on for the last decade of his life. It was commissioned by Quinn in New York in 1911 and worked ...

Where will we live?

James Meek: The Housing Disaster, 9 January 2014

... war on the poor. But how different would the situation be if it had?Look at things from Pat Quinn’s point of view, for instance. What’s being done to her is happening quite slowly, over a period of months, and is not the work of a gang of thugs breaking down her door and screaming in her face, but is conducted through forms and letters and ...

Green War

Patricia Craig, 19 February 1987

Poetry in the Wars 
by Edna Longley.
Bloodaxe, 264 pp., £12.95, November 1986, 0 906427 74 6
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We Irish: The Selected Essays of Denis Donoghue 
Harvester, 275 pp., £25, November 1986, 0 7108 1011 3Show More
The Battle of The Books 
by W.J. McCormack.
Lilliput, 94 pp., £3.95, October 1986, 0 946640 13 0
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The Twilight of Ascendancy 
by Mark Bence-Jones.
Constable, 327 pp., £14.95, January 1987, 0 09 465490 5
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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl 
edited by John Quinn.
Methuen, 144 pp., £8.95, November 1986, 0 413 14350 3
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... and never better than when she’s proposing a revaluation of someone wrongly discounted, like Edward Thomas. The first two essays in this book deal with Thomas, one relating him to Frost, the other to the English tradition – a sturdier strain of poetry than either the Georgian mode prevalent at the time Edward Thomas ...


Stephen Fender, 3 April 1980

The London Yankees: Portraits of American Writers and Artists in England, 1894-1914 
by Stanley Weintraub.
W.H. Allen, 408 pp., £7.95, November 1979, 0 491 02209 3
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The Americans: Fifty Letters from America on our Life and Times 
by Alistair Cooke.
Bodley Head, 323 pp., £5.95, October 1979, 0 370 30163 3
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... undisturbed.’ Pound carried on fighting for T.S. Eliot. Jacob Epstein told his patron John Quinn: ‘My business as I see it is to get on with my work ... Everybody here is war-mad. But my life has always been war.’ Well, in a manner of speaking, perhaps. James took the figurative mode to greater heights: ‘My hands are dripping with blood,’ he ...


Peter Campbell, 31 August 1989

A Particular Place 
by Mary Hocking.
Chatto, 216 pp., £12.95, June 1989, 0 7011 3454 2
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The House of Fear, Notes from Down Below 
by Leonora Carrington.
Virago, 216 pp., £10.99, July 1989, 1 85381 048 7
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Painted Lives 
by Max Egremont.
Hamish Hamilton, 205 pp., £11.95, May 1989, 0 241 12706 8
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The Ultimate Good Luck 
by Richard Ford.
Collins Harvill, 201 pp., £11.95, July 1989, 0 00 271853 7
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... In her introductory essay, Marina Warner mentions W.W. Jacobs, James Stephens, Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear and Harry Graham: a reading-list which suggests a mix of the commonsensical and the fantastical which consorts easily with the insect-headed humans and other macabre juxtapositions of Max Ernst’s collage illustrations – much of what is here was ...

The Sacred Cause of Idiom

Frank Kermode: Lady Gregory, 22 January 2004

Lady Gregory's Toothbrush 
by Colm Tóibín.
Picador, 127 pp., £7.99, September 2003, 0 330 41993 5
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... was prematurely describing her as a woman stricken with age, she had a delirious affair with John Quinn, the American lawyer who was the great, almost indispensable, patron of the Yeats family. Foster, noting that her son, Robert, unlike Sir William, was short, allows himself (hiding the news in a note at the back of his huge book) to report local gossip ...

I hate thee, Djaun Bool

Denis Donoghue: James Clarence Mangan, 17 March 2005

James Clarence Mangan: Selected Writings 
edited by Sean Ryder.
University College Dublin, 514 pp., £21, February 2004, 1 900621 92 4
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The Collected Works of James Clarence Mangan: Prose 1832-39 
edited by Jacques Chuto, Peter Van der Kamp, Augustine Martin and Ellen Shannon-Mangan.
Irish Academic, 416 pp., £45, October 2002, 0 7165 2577 1
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The Collected Works of James Clarence Mangan: Prose 1840-82 
edited by Jacques Chuto, Peter Van der Kamp, Augustine Martin and Ellen Shannon-Mangan.
Irish Academic, 496 pp., £45, October 2002, 0 7165 2735 9
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James Clarence Mangan: Poems 
edited by David Wheatley.
Gallery Press, 160 pp., £8.95, April 2005, 1 85235 345 7
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Selected Poems of James Clarence Mangan 
edited by Jacques Chuto, Rudolf Holzapfel, Peter Van der Kamp and Ellen Shannon-Mangan.
Irish Academic, 320 pp., £16, May 2003, 0 7165 2782 0
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... translations supplied by James Hardiman, John O’Donovan, Eugene O’Curry, John O’Daly, Edward Walsh, Samuel Ferguson and other sources. It is impossible to know how Mangan could have written so many poems and essays in a few years beset by poverty, illness, drunkenness and what he himself called ‘moral insanity’. Mangan’s place in Irish ...

What he did

Frank Kermode, 20 March 1997

W.B. Yeats: A Life. Vol. I: The Apprentice Mage 
by R.F. Foster.
Oxford, 640 pp., £25, March 1997, 0 19 211735 1
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... was barred to him. He often complained of the Trinity culture, and had mixed feelings about Edward Dowden, TCD’s celebrated professor of English, a friend of his father’s whom he had known well in his youth; Dowden was too lukewarm, too English, as he himself might have become had he gone to the College. Later there was a time when Yeats ...

The Mole on Joyce’s Breast

Sean O’Faolain, 20 November 1980

Joyce’s Politics 
by Dominic Manganiello.
Routledge, 260 pp., £12.50, October 1980, 0 7100 0537 7
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... British publisher cared to risk it. In the words of one of the best editors of the time, Edward Garnett, it contained ugly words, ugly things, would be considered a little sordid; he did have words of praise for it but thought the whole thing needed to be rewritten.) That was 1916. I am further taken aback to find that I did not get around to it for ...


Peter Campbell, 20 July 1995

Pompidou Centre, August 1995Show More
Constantin Brancusi: A Survey of His work 
by Sanda Miller.
Oxford, 256 pp., £45, April 1995, 0 19 817514 0
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Constantin Brancusi Photographe 
by Elizabeth Brown.
Assouline, 79 pp., frs 99, April 1995, 2 908228 23 8
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Constantin Brancusi: 1876-1957 
by Margit Rowell and Ann Temkin.
Gallimard, 408 pp., frs 390, April 1995, 2 85850 819 4
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... example, a head as simple as a bean seed.) Later there were American connections – in 1916 John Quinn began collecting his work; he knew the photographers Edward Steichen and Man Ray – and Romanian connections, which were maintained all his life. There is hardly a significant name which does not turn up in some context ...

I gotta use words

Mark Ford: Eliot speaks in tongues, 11 August 2016

The Poems of T.S. Eliot: Volume I: Collected & Uncollected Poems 
edited by Christopher Ricks and Jim McCue.
Faber, 1311 pp., £40, November 2015, 978 0 571 23870 5
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The Poems of T.S. Eliot: Volume II: Practical Cats & Further Verses 
edited by Christopher Ricks and Jim McCue.
Faber, 667 pp., £40, November 2015, 978 0 571 23371 7
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... High Sierra – published in 1940 – the phrase ‘She was … a one-night-stand type’ occurs), Edward Winslow Martin (author of The Secrets of the Great City, 1868, which mentions ‘cheap hotels’), the London Baedeker, Cooper’s The Prairie and Hamlet’s ‘overwhelming question’ – ‘“To be, or not to be, that is the question.” Perhaps also ...

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