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Insouciance

Gordon A. Craig, 17 July 1997

Ernst Jünger and Germany: Into the Abyss, 1914-45 
by Thomas Nevin.
Constable, 280 pp., £20, January 1997, 0 09 474560 9
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... Martin Venator, the narrator of Ernst Jünger’s 1970 novel Eumeswil, is chief steward to the reigning Tyrant of the small city state of that nam...

‘Famous for its Sausages’

David Blackbourn, 2 January 1997

The Politics of the UnpoliticalGerman Writers and the Problem of Power, 1770-1871 
by Gordon A. Craig.
Oxford, 190 pp., £22.50, July 1995, 0 19 509499 9
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... Poor in deeds and rich in thoughts’ – that was Friedrich Hölderlin’s lament about his fellow Germans two hundred years ag...

Exit Humbug

David Edgar: Theatrical Families, 1 January 2009

A Strange Eventful History: The Dram atic Lives of Ellen Terry, Henry Irving and Their Remarkable Families 
by Michael Holroyd.
Chatto, 620 pp., £25, September 2008, 978 0 7011 7987 8
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... Ellen Terry was the youngest daughter of two touring players, and began her own stage career at the age of six ...

Halfway to Siberia

Ruth Franklin: Theodor Fontane, 13 December 2001

Theodor Fontane: Literature and History in the Bismarck Reich 
by Gordon A. Craig.
Oxford, 232 pp., £26, November 2000, 0 19 512837 0
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... In the middle of the 1870s,’ Theodor Fontane’s novel Delusions, Confusions begins, ‘just at the crossing of the Kurfürstendamm and the Kurfürstenstrasse, diagonally across from the “Zoological”, could still be found a large vegetable garden, stretching a distance aw ay from the street ...

Olga Knipper

Virginia Llewellyn Smith, 7 February 1980

Chekhov’s Leading Lad
by Harvey Pitcher.
Murray, 288 pp., £8.50, October 1980, 0 7195 3681 2
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... When Chekhov died in the German town of Badenweiler in 1904, at his bedside with his wife Olga Knipper and the doctor was a young Russian friend called Rabeneck ...

World’s Greatest Statesman

Edward Luttwak, 11 March 1993

Churchill: The End of Glory 
by John Charmley.
Hodder, 648 pp., £30, January 1993, 9780340487952
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Churchill: A Major New Assessment of his Life in Peace and War 
edited by Robert Blakeand Wm Roger Louis.
Oxford, 517 pp., £19.95, February 1993, 0 19 820317 9
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... The highly practical Hellenistic solution to Britain’s insatiable Churchill/Finest Hour cravings would have been to establish a regular cult, with its own dedicated priests, rituals and sanctuaries ...

To the Great God Pan

Laura Jacobs: Goddess Isadora, 23 October 2013

My Life: The Restored Edition 
by Isadora Duncan.
Norton, 322 pp., £12.99, June 2013, 978 0 87140 318 6
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... There is only one piece of film that shows Isadora Duncan dancing.* It is four seconds long, the very end of a performance, and it is followed by eight seconds in which Duncan accepts applause ...

WOW

Anne Hollander, 10 March 1994

Life into Art: Isadora Duncan and Her World 
edited by Dorée Duncan, Carol Pratland Cynthia Splatt.
Norton, 198 pp., £25, November 1993, 0 393 03507 7
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... Isadora Duncan refused to be filmed while she danced. The most eager prophet of modern bodily movement avoided the great new vessel of the truth a motion – unwilling, it would seem, to do without the audience rapport that was indispensable to her success ...

Auchnas augh

Patrick Parrinder, 7 November 1991

King Cameron 
by David Craig.
Carcanet, 212 pp., £12.95, May 1991, 0 85635 917 3
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The Hungry Generations 
by David Gilmour.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 194 pp., £13.95, August 1991, 1 85619 069 2
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O Caledonia 
by Elspeth Barker.
Hamish Hamilton, 152 pp., £13.99, August 1991, 0 241 13146 4
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... David Craig has an unfashionable concern with truth-telling in fiction. In his earlier role as a literary critic, he wrote a book called The Real Foundations in which he showed how some of the most respected 19th and 20th-century novelists and poets had blat antly falsified social reality ...

It makes yer head go

David Craig: James Kelman and Gordon Legge, 18 February 1999

The Good Times 
by James Kelman.
Secker, 246 pp., £14.99, July 1998, 0 436 41215 2
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Near Neighbours 
by Gordon Legge.
Cape, 218 pp., £9.99, June 1998, 0 224 05120 2
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... James Kelman’s style is so mesmerising that after a few hours’ immersion I find myself thinking in it – an experience which is both intriguing and infuriating, although the former prevails ...

Diary

Peter Clarke: True or False?, 16 August 1990

... True or false? 1. Winston Churchill sent in troops ag ainst striking miners at Tonypandy. 2. Stanley Baldwin confessed with ‘appalling frankness’ that he did not rearm because he would have lost the 1935 General Election ...

Meaningless Legs

Frank Kermode: John Gielgud, 21 June 2001

Gielgud: A Theatrical Life 1904-2000 
by Jonathan Croall.
Methuen, 579 pp., £20, November 2000, 0 413 74560 0
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John G.: The Authorised Biography of John Gielgud 
by Sheridan Morley.
Hodder, 510 pp., £20, May 2001, 0 340 36803 9
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John Gielgud: An Actor’s Life 
by Gyles Brandreth.
Sutton, 196 pp., £6.99, April 2001, 0 7509 2752 6
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... These biographies of John Gielgud by Jonathan Croall and Sheridan Morley are quite hard to tell ap ar...

Staging Death

Martin Puchner: Ibsen's Modernism, 8 February 2007

Henrik Ibsen and the Birth of Modernism: Art, Theatre, Philosophy 
by Toril Moi.
Oxford, 396 pp., £25, August 2006, 0 19 929587 5
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... Henrik Ibsen died in 1906, acknowledged as the founder of modern dram a. Today, he is the most performed dram atist in the world after Shakespear...

The Satoshi Affair

Andrew O’Hag an, 29 June 2016

... The RaidTen men raided​ a house in an class="highlight-term">Gordonan>, a north shore suburb of Sydney, at...

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