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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 ...
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 ...

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 ...
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 ...

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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... Sontag – 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 ...

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 ...

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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... Riding and Robert Graves’s Focus, a ‘private magazine, for and by friends’, or Georges Bataille’s Acéphale, the house organ of his eponymous secret society) to the massive (Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, with circulations in 1930 of 90,000 and 100,000 respectively). The influence cut both ways: Henry Harland brought hard-nosed American ...

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
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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
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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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... 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 ...

First Pitch

Frank Kermode: Marianne Moore

16 April 1998
The Selected Letters of Marianne Moore 
edited by Bonnie Costello and Celeste Goodridge et al.
Faber, 597 pp., £30, April 1998, 0 571 19354 4
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... she celebrated Trollope at a time when nobody read him. Against the current of opinion she admired George Saintsbury, and when she became editor of the Dial commissioned work from this writer, already over eighty and hardly to be thought of as belonging to any avant-garde. Indeed her notion of what was worth having, whether avant-garde or not, was based on ...

Occupation: Novelist

Christopher Beha: Peter Matthiessen

30 July 2014
In Paradise 
by Peter Matthiessen.
Oneworld, 246 pp., £12.99, April 2014, 978 1 78074 555 8
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... In 1953, he’d founded the Paris Review in part as a front for that work, a detail he kept from George Plimpton for years. His third novel, Raditzer (1961), depicts yet another young man of means resisting paternal influence: Charles Stark foregoes joining his father’s law firm to enlist in the navy just as the war is ending. Shipping out to 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 ...

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