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Thomas Jones: Thomas Pynchon

8 May 2003
... unavailable, the filmmakers, Fosco and Donatello Dubini, had to construct their narrative by interviewing other people, several webmasters among them, as well as an ex-girlfriend (Chrissie Wexler), GeorgePlimpton 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 ...

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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... It is the history of the Sedgwick family that makes up Edie, a best-seller in the United States, and a haunted history stretching from 1774 to the present: the author, Jean Stein, and her co-editor, GeorgePlimpton, 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 ...

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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... in a slow-burning Southern hollow, all the world held at a distance, all of a boy’s wonder clouded with local fevers. And out of those tossings and turnings a strange and clear prosody was born. GeorgePlimpton 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 ...

Diary

Ian Hamilton: Locating the G-Spot

5 August 1982
... ago on Bobby Kennedy) has spent years and several thousand dollars tracking down every minor freak from Warhol’s Factory and is reputed to have gathered an apartment-ful of tapes. For the book, GeorgePlimpton 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 ...
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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... Warhol, Dine, Chamberlain, Ruscha, Lindner and Matta. Europeans: Magritte, Dubuffet, Michaux, Bellmer, 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 ...

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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... she writes dejectedly of her life in the early Sixties: ‘was I not privileged? – 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 ...

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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... yelling at an official or breaking a racket often helps to calm the nerves. There is no outlet for the golfer’s many miseries. In The Bogey Man, a duffer’s guide to the professional tour, GeorgePlimpton 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 ...
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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... High expectations are aroused by talk like this. Will Alvarez take Saint-Exupéry’s precept to heart and work, anonymously, on a rig for six months – participatory journalism in the style of GeorgePlimpton? 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 ...

Not Enough Delilahs

Andrew O’Hagan: Lillian Ross

4 July 2019
Picture 
by Lillian Ross.
NYRB, 219 pp., £14.99, June, 978 1 68137 315 7
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... each name:Gloria Steinem – phoneyJanet Malcolm – pretentiousRenata Adler – crackpotSusan Sontag – nobodyNora Ephron – liarOther hand:Kenneth Tynan – creepTruman Capote – leechGeorgePlimpton – 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 ...

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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... vernacular fluency’, in this book he displays the ageing artist’s impatience with mere form, mere style. Towards the end Z/R launches on an extended and entirely irrelevant paean to the memory of GeorgePlimpton, 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 ...

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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... was considerably less daring: the fiction editor, Katharine White, rejected work by Gertrude Stein 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 ...

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
Show More
Arena Homme Plus: ‘The Boys of Summer’ 
edited by Ashley Heath.
Emap East, 300 pp., £5, April 2004
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... as a mug’s game and wives as a curse. They may be right about that, but if so they are right in a 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 ...

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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... in fashion: Pater, Sappho, Stevenson, Thackeray, Whistler, ‘a book on Wagner’s operas’. Later 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 ...

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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... main job was spying on potential members of the Communist Party among literary expatriates in France. In 1953, he’d founded the Paris Review in part as a front for that work, a detail he kept from GeorgePlimpton 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 ...

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. But ...

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