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Fierceness

Marina Warner, 6 April 1995

Love’s Work 
by Gillian Rose.
Chatto, 135 pp., £9.99, March 1995, 0 7011 6304 6
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... who love you.’ To which Jim pulls the sheet over his face. ‘He was beyond language,’ writes Gillian Rose. ‘But not beyond the discomforts of love.’ Gillian Rose turns her back, again and again, on the invitations to ease and gladness which the well-meaning offer in various forms, consolations, placebos ...

Ideal Speech

Geoffrey Hawthorn, 19 November 1981

Hegel contra Sociology 
by Gillian Rose.
Athlone, 261 pp., £18, May 1981, 0 485 11214 0
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The Political Philosophy of the Frankfurt School 
by George Friedman.
Cornell, 312 pp., £9.50, February 1981, 9780801412790
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Metacritique 
by Garbis Kortian, translated by John Raffan.
Cambridge, 134 pp., £12.50, August 1980, 0 631 12779 8
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The Idea of a Critical Theory 
by Raymond Geuss.
Cambridge, 99 pp., £10, December 1981, 0 521 24072 7
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The Politics of Social Theory 
by Russell Keat.
Blackwell, 245 pp., £12.50, August 1981, 0 631 12779 8
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Critical Hermeneutics 
by John Thompson.
Cambridge, 257 pp., £17.50, September 1981, 9780521239325
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Hermeneutics and the Human Sciences 
by Paul Ricoeur, translated by John Thompson.
Cambridge, 314 pp., £20, September 1981, 0 521 23497 2
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... of possible freedom. Hence their interest now in Jürgen Habermas, that ‘unifying force’, as Gillian Rose grandiloquently describes him, ‘in the international world of sociological reason’. He produces a reasoned reflection on our collective biography in which he claims to reveal our rational will. There is, accordingly, more to Habermas than ...

Textual theory at the bar of reason

Christopher Norris, 18 July 1985

Dialectic of Nihilism: Post-Structuralism and Law 
by Gillian Rose.
Blackwell, 232 pp., £22.50, August 1984, 0 631 13191 4
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... all too rare among opponents of ‘theory’ in whatever threatening shape or guise. According to Rose, it is the fault of post-structuralism, not that it has become too much embroiled in theoretical issues, but that it has failed to think through the problems bequeathed by philosophers in the critical tradition descending from Kant. That tradition she sees ...

In Letchworth

Gillian Darley: Pevsner's Hertfordshire, 2 January 2020

... especially the conjectural Gothic Revival west front, came from the Builder, where the rose window he had bodged in, hacking out the Perpendicular original, was described as ‘a stone colander’ and the style of his work as ‘railway-station Gothic’. In 1890 the Oxford English Dictionary added a new verb, ‘to grimthorpe’, meaning to ...

What more could we want of ourselves!

Jacqueline Rose: Rosa Luxemburg, 16 June 2011

The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg 
edited by Georg Adler, Peter Hudis and Annelies Laschitza, translated by George Shriver.
Verso, 609 pp., £25, February 2011, 978 1 84467 453 4
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... of her work by Duke University Press and of this essay, Paul Myerscough interviewed Jacqueline Rose in front of an audience at the London Review Bookshop. An audio recording of the interview can be found here. We live in revolutionary times. I cannot imagine now what it would have been like to be thinking about Rosa Luxemburg if the revolutions in ...

Corkscrew in the Neck

Jacqueline Rose: Bad Summer Reading, 9 September 2015

The Girl on the Train 
by Paula Hawkins.
Doubleday, 320 pp., £12.99, January 2015, 978 0 85752 231 3
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Gone Girl 
by Gillian Flynn.
Weidenfeld, 512 pp., £8.99, September 2014, 978 1 78022 822 8
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... having the word ‘girl’ in the title of a book that guarantees huge sales. First, Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn, which I – like many readers, I assume – couldn’t put down, but which on reflection I found deeply repellent (more than one or two critics have concurred). Apparently the film is even worse, as in, even more misogynist, making the novel seem ...

Nothing could have been odder or more prophetic

Gillian Darley: Ruins, 29 November 2001

In Ruins 
by Christopher Woodward.
Chatto, 280 pp., £12.99, September 2001, 9780701168964
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... after its bombing by the IRA – most insistently by Morris’s SPAB. It, too, was disregarded. Rose Macaulay’s visceral reaction to the bombing of London – and with it the loss of her house and her lover – was the raw expression of the wreckage of her life. For her the Blitz was an ‘an irremediable barbarism coming out of the earth, and of filth ...

See the Sights!

Gillian Darley: Rediscovering Essex, 1 November 2007

The Buildings of England: Essex 
by James Bettley and Nikolaus Pevsner.
Yale, 939 pp., £29.95, May 2007, 978 0 300 11614 4
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... service through many conflicts with neighbours across the North Sea, scattered Martello towers rose to deal with the Napoleonic threat, while among the various versions of 20th-century defences, the ubiquitous concrete pillbox crept inland, sometimes to the most unlikely parts of the countryside, places the enemy would have been hard-pressed even to ...

Cut-Ups

Robert Crawford, 7 December 1989

Perduta Gente 
by Peter Reading.
Secker, £5, June 1989, 0 436 40999 2
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Letting in the rumour 
by Gillian Clarke.
Carcanet, 79 pp., £4.95, July 1989, 9780856357572
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Lazy Thoughts of a Lazy Woman 
by Grace Nichols.
Virago, 58 pp., £4.99, July 1989, 1 85381 076 2
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Studying Grosz on the Bus 
by John Lucas.
Peterloo, 64 pp., £4.95, August 1989, 1 871471 02 8
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The Old Noise of Truth 
by Joan Downar.
Peterloo, 63 pp., £4.95, August 1989, 1 871471 03 6
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... concerned with pity but with style and accuracy. The maximum of energy comes not from setting a rose or a pocket-calculator beside the formal notation of a verse structure – all are bathed in human ideas of sophistication, elegance and civilised values. Far more power comes from setting the formal notation of a verse structure beside (even the photograph ...

Homage to Mrs Brater

Rosemary Ashton, 7 August 1986

George Eliot 
by Gillian Beer.
Harvester, 272 pp., £16.95, May 1986, 0 7108 0506 3
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German Women in the 18th and 19th Centuries: A Social and Literary History 
edited by Ruth-Ellen Joeres and Mary Jo Maynes.
Indiana, 356 pp., $29.95, January 1986, 0 253 32578 1
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Red Jenny: A Life with Karl Marx 
by H.F. Peters.
Allen and Unwin, 182 pp., £12.95, May 1986, 0 04 928053 8
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Wives of Fame: Mary Livingstone, Jenny Marx, Emma Darwin 
by Edna Healey.
Sidgwick, 210 pp., £12.95, April 1986, 0 283 98552 6
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A Mid-Victorian Feminist: Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon 
by Sheila Herstein.
Yale, 224 pp., £16.95, January 1986, 0 300 03317 6
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George Eliot and Blackmail 
by Alexander Welsh.
Harvard, 400 pp., £20.50, November 1985, 0 674 34872 9
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... ambivalence on the woman question is discussed, among other things, in two recent books, by Gillian Beer and Alexander Welsh. Gillian Beer, with a nice sense of the difficulty of taking up a single-minded position on the question of whether George Eliot was more liberated or more constrained about women’s lives in ...

Stand-Up Vampire

Gillian White: Louise Glück, 26 September 2013

Poems 1962-2012 
by Louise Glück.
Farrar, Straus, 634 pp., £30, November 2012, 978 0 374 12608 7
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... first springing up a pink spike on the slope behind the daisies, and the next year, purple in the rose garden? Glück’s assumption of the God-voice in various modes – ‘Whatever you hoped,’ the God of ‘Retreating Wind’ says, ‘you will not find yourselves in the garden,/among the growing plants’ – allows her to argue not just with the garden ...

Pointing the Finger

Jacqueline Rose: ‘The Plague’, 7 May 2020

... plague, was the norm. Certainly that was true for my mother, whose first two daughters, my sister Gillian and myself, were born in 1947, the year The Plague was published, and 1949; her third daughter, Alison, was born in 1956. The copy I have been reading, underlined and covered with my markings, is the one I studied for French A level, when I was 17.Much ...

Omdamniverous

Ian Sansom: D.J. Enright, 25 September 2003

Injury Time: A Memoir 
by D.J. Enright.
Pimlico, 183 pp., £12.50, May 2003, 9781844133154
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... Within a couple of paragraphs in Injury Time, he moves from Yeats to David Beckham to Dame Gillian Beer – consummations devoutly to be desired. He is consistently pleasantly unpredictable, in the way that, say, E.B. White was consistently pleasantly unpredictable, or perhaps Alastair Cooke delivering his weekly Letter from America. Picking up a copy ...

He’s Humbert, I’m Dolores

Emily Witt, 21 May 2020

My Dark Vanessa 
by Kate Elizabeth Russell.
Fourth Estate, 384 pp., £12.99, March, 978 0 00 834224 1
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... of the zeitgeist and sold it in 2018 for more than a million dollars. The blurbs from people like Gillian Flynn and Stephen King (‘stunning’, ‘gripping’, ‘brilliant’) led me to believe I was sitting down to a thriller, but there are no unexpected plot twists here. In a disclaimer, Russell says any similarities with her own upbringing – she grew ...

Squalor

Frank Kermode, 3 February 1983

Gissing: A Life in Books 
by John Halperin.
Oxford, 426 pp., £18.50, September 1982, 0 19 812677 8
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George Gissing: Critical Essays 
edited by Jean-Pierre Michaux.
Vision/Barnes and Noble, 214 pp., £11.95, March 1981, 0 85478 404 7
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... egotist and the most refined sybarite I know’; and there are sybarites who prefer nails to rose-leaves. He had a particular hatred for the middle ground between rich and poor – the mortgaged suburban house with its poky over-furnished parlour. It is a sentiment common among those who are bred in the more refined but still insecure stretch of ...

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