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Round Things

T.J. Binyon, 24 October 1991

Maurice Baring: A Citizen of Europe 
by Emma Letley.
Constable, 269 pp., £18.95, September 1991, 0 09 469870 8
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... John Vavassour de Quentin Jones, Belloc tells us in his Cautionary Tales, Was very fond of throwing stones At Horses, People, Passing Trains But specially at Window-panes. Like many of the Upper Class, He liked the sound of Broken Glass. To this last line is appended the footnote: A line I stole with subtle daring From Wing-Commander Maurice Baring ...

The Love Object

Adam Mars-Jones: Anne Garréta, 30 July 2015

by Anne Garréta, translated by Emma Ramadan.
Deep Vellum, 120 pp., £9.87, April 2015, 978 1 941920 09 1
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... a translator – the different obstacles to fluent indeterminacy offered by French and English. As Emma Ramadan, its translator, points out, these formal choices affect and even determine the development of the narrative. If the text must avoid a tense like the passé composé that is unable, with forms such as je suis allé(e), to keep gender questions ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘La La Land’, 19 January 2017

La La Land 
directed by Damien Chazelle.
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... repeatedly cites the claim that Charlie Parker became Charlie Parker only because the drummer Jo Jones threw a cymbal at him and almost took his head off. True to the theory, Simmons hits and humiliates his students constantly until one day our boy secretly denounces him and Simmons loses his job. The trouble is that our boy was in agreement with Simmons all ...

Cloche Hats and Perms

Bee Wilson: Bonnie and Clyde, 10 September 2009

Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde 
by Jeff Guinn.
Simon and Schuster, 467 pp., £14.99, May 2009, 978 1 84737 134 8
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... Clyde’s – her father was a brick mason, which was at least a trade. In 1914, he died, leaving Emma, Bonnie’s mother, alone with three children. They moved to Cement City, where Emma worked in a garment factory sewing overalls. The teenage Bonnie won poetry competitions and often boasted that one day her name would be ...

Sleepwalker on a Windowledge

Adam Mars-Jones: Carmen Maria Machado, 7 March 2019

Her Body & Other Parties 
by Carmen Maria Machado.
Serpent’s Tail, 245 pp., £8.99, January 2019, 978 1 78125 953 5
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... by chamber, like a temple from which an adventurer is feverishly tearing’ – the Indiana Jones reference here has its own part to play in the teasing genre game, a delicate puncturing function. In​ a couple of stories Machado lavishes an extra layer of fantastical patterning on a single panel in the design. In the rather downbeat fantasy ‘Real ...

Coughing Out Slogans

Andrew O’Hagan: DeLillo tunes out, 3 December 2020

The Silence 
by Don DeLillo.
Picador, 117 pp., £14.99, October, 978 1 5290 5709 6
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... electrical appliance is innocent. ‘The little radio made its noises,’ we’re told in Great Jones Street, ‘fierce as a baby, never listening to itself. This was America’s mechanical voice, its doll voice, coughing out slogans into the dawn, testing itself in the event of emergency, station after station fading away into the suffering breath of the ...

‘A Being full of Witching’

Charles Nicholl: The ‘poor half-harlot’ of Hazlitt’s affections, 18 May 2000

... at all except as a figment of one man’s amour fou. The exception is the Hazlitt scholar Stanley Jones. In the late 1960s he succeeded in tracing a direct descendant of Sarah’s younger brother, Micaiah Walker. He pursued certain trails this opened up for him, and published his findings about her and her family in his biography, William Hazlitt: A Life ...

What did Freud want?

Rosemary Dinnage, 3 December 1992

Freud’s Women 
by Lisa Appignanesi and John Forrester.
Weidenfeld, 563 pp., £25, October 1992, 0 297 81244 0
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Psychoanalysis in its Cultural Context 
edited by Edward Timms and Ritchie Robertson.
Edinburgh, 209 pp., £30, August 1992, 9780748603596
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... but it wasn’t true. Two celebrated cases in which Freud plays rather a poor part – those of Emma Eckstine and of Ida Bauer (Dora) – are analysed closely by the authors. Eckstine he referred during her treatment to his slightly lunatic colleague Fliess for an unnecessary nasal operation. When Fliess nearly killed her by leaving a roll of gauze in the ...

From Shtetl to Boulevard

Paul Keegan: Freud’s Mother, 5 October 2017

Freud: In His Time and Ours 
by Elisabeth Roudinesco, translated by Catherine Porter.
Harvard, 580 pp., £27.95, November 2016, 978 0 674 65956 8
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Freud: An Intellectual Biography 
by Joel Whitebook.
Cambridge, 484 pp., £30, February 2017, 978 0 521 86418 3
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... shared no man’s land seems oddly larger than the territory disputed. The opening move was Ernest Jones’s three-decker monument (1953-57), and his successors make us choose a Freud, as if to write this life without a case to prove were impossible. If we need more lives of Freud it is because there is safety in numbers, but the evidential burden tends to ...


Thomas Jones: The Last Days of eBay, 19 June 2008

... biggest-selling record of 2004. Shortly after their second album came out in the summer of 2006, Emma, in need of a new computer, looked into how much her old promo might be worth. A secondhand record dealer offered her £380. According to an internet fansite, however, the two or three that had been sold on eBay had gone for around twice that. Since I ...


Pat Rogers, 7 August 1986

Mothers of the Novel: One Hundred Good Women Writers before Jane Austen 
by Dale Spender.
Pandora, 357 pp., £12.95, May 1986, 0 86358 081 5
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Scribbling Sisters 
by Dale Spender and Lynne Spender.
Camden Press, 188 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 948491 00 0
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A Woman of No Character: An Autobiography of Mrs Manley 
by Fidelis Morgan.
Faber, 176 pp., £9.95, June 1986, 0 571 13934 5
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by Fanny Burney.
Virago, 919 pp., £6.95, May 1986, 0 86068 775 9
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Millenium Hall 
by Sarah Scott.
Virago, 207 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 86068 780 5
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by Susan Ferrier.
Virago, 513 pp., £4.50, February 1986, 0 86068 765 1
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by Maria Edgeworth.
Pandora, 434 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 86358 074 2
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by Mary Brunton.
Pandora, 437 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 9780863580840
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The Female Quixote: The Adventures of Arabella 
by Charlotte Lennox.
Pandora, 423 pp., £4.95, May 1986, 0 86358 080 7
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... have had access to a copy of Clarissa to which strange editorial things had been done. As for Tom Jones, it is a total failure of historical imagination to see Sophia as feebly passive: in her attachment to an undesirable young man, her refusal of the suitable candidate, her defiance of her father and her wild ventures on the road, she is about as undutiful a ...

I, Lowborn Cur

Colin Burrow: Literary Names, 22 November 2012

Literary Names: Personal Names in English Literature 
by Alastair Fowler.
Oxford, 283 pp., £19.99, September 2012, 978 0 19 959222 7
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... names which give almost nothing away about status or nature (Fanny Price, Elizabeth Bennet and Emma Woodhouse), but she could in some circumstances use names which suggest meaning: the wild Marianne Dashwood is an early example of a flighty heroine lost in a moral forest, and Mr Knightley, well, he’s not going to be a cad, is he? The fact that Austen ...

The First Time

Adam Mars-Jones: Sally Rooney, 27 September 2018

Normal People 
by Sally Rooney.
Faber, 266 pp., £14.99, August 2018, 978 0 571 33464 3
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Conversations with Friends 
by Sally Rooney.
Faber, 321 pp., £8.99, March 2018, 978 0 571 33313 4
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... to feel superior to Connell, in despair at the library closing while he was engrossed in Emma: It feels intellectually unserious to concern himself with fictional people marrying one another. But there it is: literature moves him. One of his professors calls it ‘the pleasure of being touched by great art’. In those words it almost sounds ...

Adam Mars-Jones: Jenny Offill, 2 July 2020

by Jenny Offill.
Granta, 207 pp., £12.99, February, 978 1 78378 476 9
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... not believe that because you are a revolutionary you must feel sad’ sounds like something Emma Goldman might have said, but it has no attribution. Sometimes a quoted passage – about whether angels need to sleep, for instance (the answer: ‘it is unlikely, though we cannot be completely sure)’ – is presented inside a rectangular border of ...

Brave as hell

John Kerrigan, 21 June 1984

Enderby’s Dark Lady, or No End to Enderby 
by Anthony Burgess.
Hutchinson, 160 pp., £7.95, March 1984, 0 09 156050 0
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Shakespeare’s Sonnets: A Modern Edition 
edited by A.L. Rowse.
Macmillan, 311 pp., £20, March 1984, 0 333 36386 8
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... commentators incited authors to flights of fancy rather than silence, or research. From Emma Severn to the Comtesse de Chambrun, for a hundred years or more, Bardic Romance was a major form. Forgotten now, or doomed to be read only by critics, books like Miss Severn’s Anne Hathaway; or, Shakespeare in Love enjoyed mass appeal in Victorian ...

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