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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 ...

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, 31 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 ...

In His Pink Negligée

Colm Tóibín: The Ruthless Truman Capote, 21 April 2005

The Complete Stories 
by Truman Capote.
Random House, 400 pp., $24.95, September 2004, 0 679 64310 9
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Too Brief a Treat: The Letters of Truman Capote 
edited by Gerald Clarke.
Random House, 487 pp., $27.95, September 2004, 0 375 50133 9
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... perhaps naturally enough), he and his prey usually had a marvellous time as a result. In George Plimpton’s 1998 book about Capote, subtitled ‘In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career’, John Richardson says: ‘It was very important for Truman to feel that people preferred him to their ...

What a Mother

Mary-Kay Wilmers: Marianne Moore and Her Mother, 3 December 2015

Holding On Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore 
by Linda Leavell.
Farrar, Straus, 455 pp., $18, September 2014, 978 0 374 53494 3
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... as ‘largely chivalry’ on their part: ‘I didn’t have time for work of my own,’ she told George Saintsbury, the English man of letters who’d been one of her contributors. At Warner’s insistence, she and her mother left Greenwich Village for a more suitable – ‘spacious’ would be the word – apartment in Brooklyn: they could have had a bed ...

Rinse it in dead champagne

Colm Tóibín: The women who invented beauty, 5 February 2004

War Paint: Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden: Their Lives, Their Times, Their Rivalry 
by Lindy Woodhead.
Virago, 498 pp., £20, April 2003, 1 86049 974 0
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Diana Vreeland 
by Eleanor Dwight.
HarperCollins, 308 pp., £30, December 2002, 0 688 16738 1
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... a big book of photography and fashion called Allure. She wrote her memoirs with the help of George Plimpton. The strange mixture in her of pure vacuity, a signature appearance, massive energy, flair and confidence made her a godsend to Andy Warhol and his friends. Her witticisms, such as they were (the Warhol magazine Interview called them ...

Diary

Inigo Thomas: My Father, Hugh Thomas, 15 June 2017

... cancelled at the last minute. Oral biography is more familiar in the US than it is in Britain: George Plimpton and Studs Terkel were two of its best-known exponents. In these books, the life of, say, Truman Capote, is told through the words of those who knew him: the author is editor and orchestrator. Lockhart’s Life of Scott is similar: much of the ...

Enemies For Ever

James Wolcott: ‘Making It’, 18 May 2017

Making It 
by Norman Podhoretz.
NYRB, 368 pp., £13.98, May 2017, 978 1 68137 080 4
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... period, the 1967 edition Podhoretz is ‘in with the in-crowd’ (Jackie Kennedy, Lillian Hellman, George Plimpton); he goes where the in-crowd goes, knows what the in-crowd knows. Podhoretz was even invited to Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball of 1966, the party of the century. There could have been no greater confirmation of his having ...

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