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Daniel Kevles

17 August 1989
Thinking about science: Max Delbrück and the Origins of Molecular Biology 
by Ernst Peter Fischer and Carol Lipson.
Norton, 334 pp., £13.95, January 1989, 9780393025088
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Is science necessary? Essays on Science and Scientists 
by M.F. Perutz.
Barrie and Jenkins, 285 pp., £14.95, July 1989, 0 7126 2123 7
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... imbued with the scientific values characterised, he says, by ‘extreme devotion to hard experimental work, and strong aversion to speculation beyond what is justified by the experimental results’. Peter Medawar once extolled imaginative guesswork as part of the scientific process. Perutz comments: ‘During the first 33 years of my own research imaginative guesswork proved useless: only after my ...

A View of a View

Marina Warner: Melchior Lorck

27 May 2010
Melchior Lorck 
edited by Erik Fischer, Ernst​ Jonas Bencard and Mikael Bøgh Rasmussen.
Royal Library Vandkunsten, 808 pp., €300, August 2009, 978 87 91393 61 7
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... again. Few original drawings survive; instead they are reproduced in woodcuts for which Lorck did not do all the cutting or engraving. His work is wildly uneven, and so varied in manner that Erik Fischer, who has looked at it more assiduously than anyone alive, believes that nothing can be confidently attributed to Lorck unless it is signed. This doesn’t quite convince: whatever he looked at, Lorck ...

Agreeing with Berger

Peter​ Campbell

19 March 1987
Ways of Telling: The Work of John Berger 
by Geoff Dyer.
Pluto, 186 pp., £4.95, December 1986, 0 7453 0097 9
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... wrote about what it was like to look at a painting, he wrote about what it was like to try to be a painter. I did not then know how much he had learnt from Marxist critics like Frederick Antal, ErnstFischer and Walter Benjamin, but it was clear that for Berger the difficulties of a painter of our time involved more than lack of technique or talent. It was a matter of how art meshed with the ...

I Could Sleep with All of Them

Colm Tóibín: The Mann Family

6 November 2008
In the Shadow of the Magic Mountain: The Erika and Klaus Mann Story 
by Andrea Weiss.
Chicago, 302 pp., £14.50, May 2008, 978 0 226 88672 5
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... 1918 and 1922, when, in a speech called ‘The German Republic’, he seemed to recant. Kurzke writes that Mann, in these years, developed friendships, some of them close, with figures such as Ernst Bertram, Elisabeth Mann’s godfather, who later became supporters of the Nazis or fellow-travellers with the regime. Kurzke is cautious, however, about making too much of this: Does that make ...

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