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20 December 1979
The Moment of ‘Scrutiny’ 
by Francis Mulhern.
New Left Books, 354 pp., £11.75
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The Literary Criticism of F.R. Leavis 
by R.P. Bilan.
Cambridge, 338 pp., £12.50
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... reminiscence and regret to hostility and outright Schadenfreude – there was still no consensus. Francis Mulhern, who now attempts to tell the whole story of that journal for the first time, announces: ‘The true measure of the problem is that, 25 years after its closure, and 15 after its triumphant reissue, there exists not a single systematic ...

No Escape

Bruce Robbins: Culture

1 November 2001
Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress 
edited by Samuel Huntington and Lawrence Harrison.
Basic Books, 384 pp., £12.99, April 2001, 0 465 03176 5
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Culture/Metaculture 
by Francis Mulhern.
Routledge, 198 pp., £8.99, March 2000, 0 415 10230 8
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Culture: The Anthropologists’ Account 
by Adam Kuper.
Harvard, 299 pp., £12.50, November 2000, 0 674 00417 5
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... it didn’t appear to include, nothing it didn’t appear to explain – until it had become (both Francis Mulhern and Kuper use the word) ‘everything’. Each of their books, one coming from literary studies, the other from anthropology, offers evidence that the concept of culture is itself experiencing a version of Alfred Kroeber’s explanation for ...

Moments

Marilyn Butler

2 September 1982
The New Pelican Guide to English Literature. Vol. I: Medieval Literature Part One: Chaucer and the Alliterative Tradition, Vol. II: The Age of Shakespeare, Vol. III: From Donne to Marvell, Vol. IV: From Dryden to Johnson 
edited by Boris Ford.
Penguin, 647 pp., £2.95, March 1982, 0 14 022264 2
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Medieval Writers and their Work: Middle English Literature and its Background 
by J.A. Burrow.
Oxford, 148 pp., £9.95, May 1982, 0 19 289122 7
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Contemporary Writers Series: Saul Bellow, Joe Orton, John Fowles, Kurt Vonnegut, Seamus Heaney, Thomas Pynchon 
by Malcolm Bradbury, C.W.E. Bigsby, Peter Conradi, Jerome Klinkowitz and Blake Morrison.
Methuen, 110 pp., £1.95, May 1982, 0 416 31650 6
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... shared with the Leavises the founding of Scrutiny. ‘The high period of the journal,’ says Francis Mulhern in his book The Moment of ‘Scrutiny’, ‘was that commanded by F.R. Leavis and the early graduates of Cambridge English, [D.W.] Harding, [L.C.] Knights, Q.D. Leavis and [Denys] Thompson – five authors who, in aggregate, wrote on ...

Good dinners pass away, so do tyrants and toothache

Terry Eagleton: Death, Desire and so forth

16 April 1998
Death, Desire and Loss in Western Culture 
by Jonathan Dollimore.
Allen Lane, 380 pp., £25, April 1998, 0 7139 9125 9
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... inertia and recalcitrance, not from the fall of the leaf. Post-Modern and historicist thought, as Francis Mulhern has pointed out, tends to reduce history to change; but ‘history is also – decisively, for its greater part – continuity.’ Nothing is more persistent than the idea of ephemerality, as this book demonstrates without being quite aware ...

Examples

Denis Donoghue

2 February 1984
Towards 2000 
by Raymond Williams.
Chatto, 273 pp., £9.95, October 1983, 9780701126858
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Writing in Society 
by Raymond Williams.
Verso, 268 pp., £18.50, December 1983, 0 86091 072 5
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Radical Earnestness: English Social Theory 1880-1980 
by Fred Inglis.
Martin Robertson, 253 pp., £15, November 1982, 0 85520 328 5
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... and Letters (1979), a big book of specific questions posed by Perry Anderson, Anthony Barnett and Francis Mulhern, members of the editorial committee of New Left Review; and of answers, rarely as specific or pointed, offered by Williams. The second section of Politics and Letters includes detailed criticism of The Long Revolution and Williams’s ...

Foquismo

Alan Sheridan

2 July 1981
Teachers, Writers, Celebrities: The Intellectuals of Modern France 
by Régis Debray, translated by David Macey.
New Left Books, 251 pp., £11, May 1981, 0 86091 039 3
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... more moralistic, more puritanical contribution. In an informative introduction to Debray’s book, Francis Mulhern compares Debray’s work with that of the Leavises and of the Frankfurt School. For me, such a comparison can only be to Debray’s detriment. Q.D. Leavis’s Fiction and the Reading Public, though polemical in intent, was a masterly piece of ...
16 October 1980
Three Honest Men: Edmund Wilson, F.R. Leavis, Lionel Trilling 
edited by Philip French.
Carcanet, 120 pp., £6.95, July 1980, 0 85635 299 3
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F.R. Leavis 
by William Walsh.
Chatto, 189 pp., £8.95, September 1980, 0 7011 2503 9
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... it a strong period flavour. Understandably, the modern New Left is keen to disown him. In 1979, Francis Mulhern wrote a book analysing the hazy and non-radical politics of Scrutiny. Stuart Hall, in Philip French’s programme, speaks of the ‘conservative critical model’ which Leavis and others of the Twenties and Thirties favoured. It is fair to ...

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