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History as a Bunch of Flowers

James Davidson: Jacob Burckhardt, 20 August 1998

The Greeks and Greek Civilisation 
by Jacob Burckhardt, edited by Oswyn Murray, translated by Sheila Stern.
HarperCollins, 449 pp., £24.99, May 1998, 0 00 255855 6
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... shadow looming over some of the classics which have been most influential among modern historians. Clifford Geertz’s treatment of the Balinese cockfight as a novel or a play, Stephen Greenblatt’s ‘self-fashioning’ or Foucault’s notion of the Greek Self as a ‘stylisation of freedom’, produced out of an ‘aesthetics of existence’. When Simon ...

Soul Bellow

Craig Raine, 12 November 1987

More die of heartbreak 
by Saul Bellow.
Alison Press/Secker, 335 pp., £10.95, October 1987, 0 436 03962 1
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... to accommodate South African material in the dramatic forms supplied by Tennessee Williams, Clifford Odets, Eugene O’Neill and Arthur Miller, Fugard found what he needed in Camus’s treatment of Algeria: ‘when I first encountered the articulation of that almost pagan, sensual life lived out in the sun, next to a sea, with warm rocks being, in a ...

A Rumbling of Things Unknown

Jacqueline Rose: Marilyn Monroe, 26 April 2012

... final analysis, was the absolute control of credit.’ When Weatherby interviewed the playwright Clifford Odets, in the throes of despair about what he saw as the collapse of political hope, Odets asked ‘What’s the problem?’ and then answered his own question: ‘In America – I won’t talk about the rest of the world – the problem is: “Are peace ...

How the sanity of poets can be edited away

Arnold Rattenbury: The Sanity of Ivor Gurney, 14 October 1999

‘Severn and Somme’ and ‘War’s Embers’ 
by Ivor Gurney, edited by R.K.R. Thornton.
Carcanet, 152 pp., £7.95, September 1997, 1 85754 348 3
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80 Poems or So 
by Ivor Gurney, edited by George Walter and R.K.R. Thornton.
Carcanet, 148 pp., £9.95, January 1997, 1 85754 344 0
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... I suppose, to see Gurney as torn between London and Gloucester, music and poetry, peace and war, gay and straight, sense and nonsense. Not so; or perhaps one should more cautiously say, only peripherally so. What it is now possible to see is a rational mind developing. The one thing which reassembling chance-blown papers cannot supply is any sense of ...

The Lives of Ronald Pinn

Andrew O’Hagan, 8 January 2015

... to me, I noted down the names of Paul Ives, Graham Paine (‘who lost his life by drowning’), Clifford John Dunn, Ronald Alexander Pinn and John Hill, all of whom were born in the 1960s, as I was, and died early.The practice of using dead children’s identities began in the Metropolitan Police Force in the 1960s. Until very recently, it was ...

Festival of Punishment

Thomas Laqueur: On Death Row, 5 October 2000

Proximity to Death 
by William McFeely.
Norton, 206 pp., £17.95, January 2000, 0 393 04819 5
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Death Row: The Encyclopedia of Capital Punishment 
edited by Bonnie Bobit.
Bobit, 311 pp., $24.95, September 1999, 0 9624857 6 4
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... decade and the civil rights movement the instrument of its overthrow. But women’s liberation and gay rights all contributed, McFeely argues, to the sense many people had that something had gone seriously wrong with the moral order. In this context, the very real rise in crime could be attributed to a collapse of values. And a reborn death penalty – along ...

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