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Impatience

J.P. Stern

30 August 1990
Unmodern Observations 
by Friedrich Nietzsche, translated by Herbert Golder, Gary Brown and William Arrowsmith.
Yale, 402 pp., £30, February 1990, 0 300 04311 2
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The Importance of Nietzsche 
by Erich Heller.
Chicago, 200 pp., £23.95, February 1989, 0 226 32637 3
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... designed as an apotheosis of the Master on the occasion of the first Bayreuth Festival of July 1876. ‘In tenor, despite Nietzsche’s inner doubts, the essay is unmistakably laudatory,’ writes Mr GaryBrown in his introduction. It portrays an artist whom he wished, and once sincerely believed, to be the real Wagner. But for the reader aware of Nietzsche’s private doubts, it takes on a ...

Heart-Stopping

Ian Hamilton

25 January 1996
Not Playing for Celtic: Another Paradise Lost 
by David Bennie.
Mainstream, 221 pp., £12.99, October 1995, 1 85158 757 8
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Achieving the Goal 
by David Platt.
Richard Cohen, 244 pp., £12.99, October 1995, 1 86066 017 7
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Captain’s Log: The Gary​ McAllister Story 
by Gary​ McAllister and Graham Clark.
Mainstream, 192 pp., £14.99, October 1995, 9781851587902
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Blue Grit: The John Brown​ Story 
by John Brown and Derek Watson.
Mainstream, 176 pp., £14.99, November 1995, 1 85158 822 1
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Kicking and Screaming: An Oral History of Football in England 
by Rogan Taylor and Andrew Ward.
Robson, 370 pp., £16.95, October 1995, 0 86051 912 0
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A Passion for the Game: Real Lives in Football 
by Tom Watt.
Mainstream, 316 pp., £14.99, October 1995, 1 85158 714 4
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... double side’s reserves,’ I’d say, or: ‘How many of the 1964 West Ham cupwinning team had names beginning with a B?’ Or it would be: ‘Pick an XI in which every position is taken by a Gary. I will start you off. Gary Bailey in goal. Gary Stevens right back. Now you carry on.’ Yes, truly boring. But in those days soccer-mania was dark and lonely work. Outside my small circle of co ...

Build Your Cabin

Ian Sansom: ‘Caribou Island’

3 March 2011
Caribou Island 
by David Vann.
Penguin, 293 pp., £8.99, January 2011, 978 0 670 91844 7
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... that’s nice: there’s a glimmer, or a gasp, some mist on the mirror. Vann, on the other hand, after a similar slog, stands his ground, holds his breath, and neither offers nor accepts any mercy. Gary and Irene are an Alaskan couple whose marriage is disintegrating. Gary is a graduate-school dropout who likes to recite ‘The Seafarer’ and who has failed, and continues to fail, in just about ...

Awwooooooooooooooooo!

Gavin Francis: Lycanthropy

2 November 2017
... it allowed her to stay out of the sun. ‘She burns really easily,’ her flatmate said. ‘You should see her in the summer – she gets blisters from it.’ In places her skin was mottled with brown pigment, particularly across the face and hands. I was a junior doctor at the time, and for me and the rest of the medical team Joanne’s diagnosis was a puzzle. When the supervising physician ...

Some of them can read

Sean Wilsey: Rats!

17 March 2005
Rats: A Year with New York’s Most Unwanted Inhabitants 
by Robert Sullivan.
Granta, 242 pp., £12.99, January 2005, 1 86207 761 4
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... make terrifyingly good reading for an expectant father. The first thing I read was ‘Rats on the Waterfront’, the mother of all New York rat pieces, by the great reporter Joseph Mitchell: The brown rat is hostile to other kinds; it usually attacks them on sight. It kills them by biting their throats or by clawing them to pieces, and, if hungry, it eats them … All rats are vandals, but the ...

Watch with mother

Zachary Leader

23 May 1996
Eastern Sun, Winter Moon 
by Gary​ Paulsen.
Gollancz, 244 pp., £16.99, April 1996, 9780575063198
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The Attic: Memoir of a Chinese Landlord’s Son 
by Guanlong Cao, translated by Guanlong Cao and Nancy Moskin.
California, 256 pp., £19.95, April 1996, 0 520 20405 0
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... Being a boy is not always easy. These two childhood memoirs differ in important respects, but they agree about the problematic nature of boyhood pleasure. Gary Paulsen’s ‘Autobiographical Odyssey’ follows in the wake of his 1995 memoir, Winterdance, a much-praised account of dog-sled racing in Alaska. Though he is only now gaining a reputation in ...

The smallest details speak the loudest

John Upton: The Stephen Lawrence inquiry

1 July 1999
The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry 
by Sir William Macpherson.
Stationery Office, 335 pp., £26, February 1999, 0 10 142622 4
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The Case of Stephen Lawrence 
by Brian Cathcart.
Viking, 418 pp., £16.99, May 1999, 0 670 88604 1
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... was racially motivated. Within a few days four names had emerged by dint of repetition from among the large volume of information that the police received: Jamie Acourt, Neil Acourt, David Norris and Gary Dobson. The names came from unreliable sources – an ex-girlfriend, youths with grudges against them. All four had been suspects in connection with previous acts of racial violence. Despite a ...

Bardicide

Gary​ Taylor

9 January 1992
... the first American revival of Julius Caesar which restored this scene took place in 1937, when books were being burned in Germany: Orson Welles portrayed the plebeians who murder Cinna as Fascist Brown-shirts. In 1937, in 1599, Julius Caesar dramatised an attack on a poet, at a time when poets were being attacked outside the theatre. Act Three, Scene Three of Julius Caesar is Shakespeare’s ...

Diary

Gary​ Indiana: In Havana

23 May 2013
... Luis, but they made a notation on his identity card. It cost $300 in payoffs to get it removed. When we decided to find Angel, ‘the little one’, who’s deaf-mute and has one blue eye, one brown, his mother said he’d gone to Pinar del Río to stay with an aunt for the holidays. We decided to go out there ourselves, but when we went back to his house to get his aunt’s address before ...
8 November 2018
Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism 
by Melinda Cooper.
Zone, 447 pp., £24, March 2017, 978 1 935408 84 0
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...  but lost all ideological confidence along with her parliamentary majority in June last year.) The phrase was used as a way of signalling economic and moral commitment at the same time. Gordon Brown – who liked to cloak redistributive policies in communitarian, traditionalist rhetoric – is said to have been the first to use it, in 1995. The Blair, Brown and Cameron governments all repeatedly ...

Under the Brush

Peter Campbell: Ingres-flesh

4 March 1999
Portraits by Ingres: Image of an Epoch 
edited by Gary​ Tinterow and Philip Conisbee.
Abrams, 500 pp., £55, January 1999, 0 300 08653 9
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Velázquez: The Technique of Genius 
by Jonathan Brown and Carmen Garrido.
Yale, 213 pp., £29.95, November 1998, 0 300 07293 7
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... modern fashion. His wife had been a dressmaker. He records the progress of fashion: from the pretty, high-waisted Empire styles of the Roman portraits to Mme Marcotte’s rather horrid, mid-century, brown dress, from styles which cover bodies to styles which shape them. His profligacy with information helps to explain the inordinate length of time some pictures took to complete – Mme Moitessier was ...

The Marked Man

Audrey Gillan: Portrait of a Paedophile

21 September 2000
... lives. They were well enough off to spoil their son, who has strong memories of being taken sailing when he was three, of having a Chopper bicycle at the height of their fashion, and of loving Gary Glitter at the height of his. James’s favourite toy was the Six Million Dollar Man, which had a bionic right arm that could lift things. When you peered through the back of the doll’s head you ...

Against Independence

Musab Younis: Decolonisation

28 June 2017
Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonisation and the Future of the World 
by Gary​ Wilder.
Duke, 400 pp., £23.99, January 2015, 978 0 8223 5850 3
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... formative years in Paris, going on to become the island’s most powerful politician and the longstanding mayor of its capital, Fort-de-France (a post he held until the age of 87). In Freedom Time, Gary Wilder picks up a lost thread in the story of decolonisation, focusing on the anti-colonialists – chiefly Césaire and his Senegalese contemporary Léopold Sédar Senghor – who, unlike Fanon ...

Britain takes the biscuit

Gordon Brown​ and Geoff Mulgan

25 October 1990
The Competitive Advantage of Nations 
by Michael Porter.
Macmillan, 855 pp., £25, May 1990, 0 333 51804 7
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... tend to be used as a superficial, temporary and defensive measure. One of Porter’s colleagues in the pages of the Harvard Business Review has suggested another key weakness in his approach. Gary Hamel has made the point that successful strategies for the future cannot be discerned from the study of what was successful in the past. The idea that the US or UK can simply analyse ‘what works ...

An Endless Progression of Whirlwinds

Robert Irwin: Asian empire

21 June 2001
Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game and the Race for Empire in Asia 
by Karl Meyer and Shareen Brysac.
Little, Brown, 646 pp., £25, January 2001, 0 316 85589 8
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Tibet: The Great Game and Tsarist Russia 
by Tatiana Shaumian.
Oxford, 223 pp., £16, October 2000, 0 19 565056 5
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... Lancer, directed by Henry Hathaway and released in 1935, was Hitler’s favourite film. (Mussolini’s Motion Picture Bureau banned it, deeming it to be pro-British propaganda.) Major Francis Yeats-Brown’s book, whose title the film borrowed, was a memoir of life as an officer in the 17th Cavalry on the North-West Frontier, before the outbreak of the Great War. He detailed the routines of life in ...

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