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Thomas Jones: Thomas Pynchon, 8 May 2003

... other people, several webmasters among them, as well as an ex-girlfriend (Chrissie Wexler), George Plimpton and other critics, and, best of the lot, Irwin Corey, the comedian who impersonated Pynchon to collect the National Book Award for Gravity’s Rainbow in 1974. The talking heads are interspersed with archive footage of rockets taking off, or ...

Ediepus

Michael Neve, 18 November 1982

Edie: An American Biography 
by Jean Stein and George Plimpton.
Cape, 455 pp., £9.95, October 1982, 0 224 02068 4
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Baby Driver: A Story About Myself 
by Jan Kerouac.
Deutsch, 208 pp., £7.95, August 1982, 0 233 97487 3
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... a haunted history stretching from 1774 to the present: the author, Jean Stein, and her co-editor, George Plimpton, of the Paris Review, acknowledge the familial dimension by providing a ‘genealogy of principal characters’ near the end of the book. The founding father was Judge Theodore Sedgwick who came to Stockbridge ‘after the Revolution’, and ...

Good Fibs

Andrew O’Hagan: Truman Capote, 2 April 1998

Truman Capote: In which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career 
by George Plimpton.
Picador, 498 pp., £20, February 1998, 0 330 36871 0
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... with local fevers. And out of those tossings and turnings a strange and clear prosody was born. George Plimpton has tripped on a handy way of telling the story of a life, so long as that life happens to be one like Truman Capote’s. In place of an account shaped by Plimpton’s sentences, what we have is a ...

Diary

Ian Hamilton: Locating the G-Spot, 5 August 1982

... from Warhol’s Factory and is reputed to have gathered an apartment-ful of tapes. For the book, George Plimpton has skilfully juggled all this testimony so that there are smooth narrative links between each slab of talk. Reading it is like eavesdropping: you may not enjoy it, but it’s hard to stop. Rumour has it that Edie has been snubbed by British ...

‘Someone you had to be a bit careful with’

David Sylvester: Gallery Rogues, 30 March 2000

Groovy Bob: The Life and Times of Robert Fraser 
by Harriet Vyner.
Faber, 317 pp., £20, October 1999, 0 571 19627 6
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... Klapheck. Britons: Bacon, Hamilton, Paolozzi, Blake, Harold Cohen, Riley, Caulfield, Gilbert and George. Kasmin’s Americans included Newman, Reinhardt, Stella, Noland, Louis, Frankenthaler, Olitski, Poons; his Britons, Caro, Tucker, Latham, Hill, Hockney, Richard Smith, Bernard Cohen, Denny, Hodgkin, Ayres, Buckley, while his one European was Pol Bury. So ...

Worst President in History

Eric Foner: Impeaching Andrew Johnson, 24 September 2020

The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation 
by Brenda Wineapple.
Ballantine, 592 pp., £12.99, May, 978 0 8129 8791 1
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... Only two of the 43 are black – Frederick Douglass and the restaurateur and political activist George T. Downing. This is a problem, as Reconstruction was a national crisis, not one restricted to the capital. Current scholarship emphasises that grassroots black activism, including public meetings and mass demonstrations throughout the South in favour of ...

Boulevard Brogues

Rosemary Hill: Having your grouse and eating it, 13 May 1999

Girlitude: A Memoir of the Fifties and Sixties 
by Emma Tennant.
Cape, 224 pp., £15.99, April 1999, 0 224 05952 1
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... but I was also the butt of many jokes, a preposterous figure – Lady Caroline Top Drawer – in George Melly’s Flook ... Yet I felt none of the cheer of the publicly clownish figure ... I was so clearly in need of something else, something I so clearly failed to find.’ The failure was another consequence of girlitude, for if Tennant looked hard for what ...

Literary Guy

Ian Jack, 19 June 1986

A North Sea Journey 
by A. Alvarez.
Hodder, 191 pp., £9.95, May 1986, 0 340 37347 4
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... heart and work, anonymously, on a rig for six months – participatory journalism in the style of George Plimpton? Or will he set off by small boat and sail from rig to rig (‘Ahoy there, your muse wishes to come on board’) as the word ‘journey’ in the title might imply? Will there be storms? Will Alvarez come close to the edge of life? Will the ...

Capital W, Capital W

Michael Wood: Women writers, 19 August 1999

Women Writers at Work 
edited by George Plimpton.
Harvill, 381 pp., £9.99, February 1999, 1 86046 586 2
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Just as I Thought 
by Grace Paley.
Virago, 332 pp., £8.99, August 1999, 1 86049 696 2
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... It is fatal for a woman,’ Virginia Woolf wrote, ‘in any way to speak consciously as a woman.’ Fatal for her as a writer, Woolf meant, but even so, not many people will now agree with this view. Not all that many, perhaps, will understand it straight off. How could it be fatal? How could you not write or speak as a woman if you were one? Except by pretending to speak or write as a man ...

Iron Tearing Soil

James Francken: Golf, 4 October 2001

A Gentleman's Game 
by Tom Coyne.
Atlantic, 264 pp., £15, July 2001, 1 903809 05 3
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Riverbank Tweed and Roadmap Jenkins: Tales from the Caddie Yard 
by Bo Links.
Simon and Schuster, 302 pp., £15, May 2001, 0 684 87362 1
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Spikes 
by Michael Griffith.
Arcade, 258 pp., £17, February 2001, 1 55970 536 1
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... for the golfer’s many miseries. In The Bogey Man, a duffer’s guide to the professional tour, George Plimpton hints at the bottled-up woes that undermine golf’s reputation as a staid game played by colourless men: ‘professionals invariably trudge phlegmatically around the course – whatever emotions are seething within – with the grim yet ...

They both hated DLT

Andy Beckett: Radio 1, 15 April 1999

The Nation’s Favourite: The True Adventures of Radio 1 
by Simon Garfield.
Faber, 273 pp., £9.99, October 1998, 0 571 19435 4
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... work seeks the purer air of American-style ‘objective’ depiction. The book aspires to follow George Plimpton but, in truth, it is more of a docu-soap. Like all soaps, Garfield’s has a ‘cast of characters’. Their doings become ‘true adventures’, their confrontations staged set-pieces, their thoughts soliloquies. For about two-thirds of the ...

Not Enough Delilahs

Andrew O’Hagan: Lillian Ross, 4 July 2019

Picture 
by Lillian Ross.
NYRB, 219 pp., £14.99, June 2019, 978 1 68137 315 7
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... nobodyNora Ephron – liarOther hand:Kenneth Tynan – creepTruman Capote – leechGeorge Plimpton – slickTom Wolfe – talentlessPhilip Roth – jerkIt was a mercy she only had two hands. To be fair, there were some men she liked. They tended to be showbusiness people. She liked Robin Williams, Charlie Chaplin, Tommy Lee Jones and Al Pacino. She ...

Z/R

John Banville: Exit Zuckerman, 4 October 2007

Exit Ghost 
by Philip Roth.
Cape, 292 pp., £16.99, October 2007, 978 0 224 08173 3
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... style. Towards the end Z/R launches on an extended and entirely irrelevant paean to the memory of George Plimpton, something which, loving though it is, would surely have embarrassed Plimpton himself, and which skews artistically the closing pages. There are also long passages in which Z/R abandons narrative prose and ...

Disgrace under Pressure

Andrew O’Hagan: Lad mags, 3 June 2004

Stag & Groom Magazine 
edited by Perdita Patterson.
Hanage, 130 pp., £4, May 2004
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Zoo 
edited by Paul Merrill.
Emap East, 98 pp., £1.20, May 2004
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Nuts 
edited by Phil Hilton.
IPC, 98 pp., £1.20, May 2004
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Loaded 
edited by Martin Daubney.
IPC, 194 pp., £3.30, June 2004
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Jack 
edited by Michael Hodges.
Dennis, 256 pp., £3, May 2004
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Esquire 
edited by Simon Tiffin.
National Magazine Company, 180 pp., £3.40, June 2004
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GQ 
edited by Dylan Jones.
Condé Nast, 200 pp., £3.20, June 2004
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Men's Health 
edited by Morgan Rees.
Rodale, 186 pp., £3.40, June 2004
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Arena Homme Plus: ‘The Boys of Summer’ 
edited by Ashley Heath.
Emap East, 300 pp., £5, April 2004
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Stag & Groom Magazine 
edited by Perdita Patterson.
Hanage, 130 pp., £4, May 2004
Show More
Zoo 
edited by Paul Merrill.
Emap East, 98 pp., £1.20, May 2004
Show More
Nuts 
edited by Phil Hilton.
IPC, 98 pp., £1.20, May 2004
Show More
Loaded 
edited by Martin Daubney.
IPC, 194 pp., £3.30, June 2004
Show More
Jack 
edited by Michael Hodges.
Dennis, 256 pp., £3, May 2004
Show More
Esquire 
edited by Simon Tiffin.
National Magazine Company, 180 pp., £3.40, June 2004
Show More
GQ 
edited by Dylan Jones.
Condé Nast, 200 pp., £3.20, June 2004
Show More
Men’s Health 
edited by Morgan Rees.
Rodale, 186 pp., £3.40, June 2004
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Arena Homme Plus: ‘The Boys of Summer’ 
edited by Ashley Heath.
Emap East, 300 pp., £5, April 2004
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... fairly boring way: no man older than 21 wants to be told they’re a failure unless they live like George Best. And that’s Loaded’s central anxiety: it exhibits a very British smallness of style in its understanding of male recklessness, and its world of Saturday nights is really a lament for passions spent or never experienced. So why are men’s ...

Ismism

Evan Kindley: Modernist Magazines, 23 January 2014

The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines: Volume I: Britain and Ireland 1880-1955 
edited by Peter Brooker and Andrew Thacker.
Oxford, 976 pp., £35, May 2013, 978 0 19 965429 1
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The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines: Volume II: North America 1894-1960 
edited by Peter Brooker and Andrew Thacker.
Oxford, 1088 pp., £140, July 2012, 978 0 19 965429 1
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The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines: Volume III: Europe 1880-1940 
edited by Peter Brooker, Sascha Bru, Andrew Thacker and Christian Weikop.
Oxford, 1471690 pp., £145, March 2013, 978 0 19 965958 6
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... because ‘she was not allowed to buy anything her boss didn’t understand.’) H.L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan subsidised their succès d’estime the Smart Set with ‘louse magazines’ such as Parisienne, Saucy Stories and Black Mask. Die neue linie, featuring work by Bauhaus designers such as László Moholy-Nagy, Herbert Bayer and Irmgard ...

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