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Abigail Green: The Rothschilds, 18 February 2021

Rothschild: Glanz und Untergang des Wiener Welthauses 
by Roman Sandgruber.
Molden Verlag, 531 pp., £29, October 2018, 978 3 222 15024 1
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The Gunzburgs: A Family Biography 
by Lorraine de Meaux, translated by Steven Rendall.
Halban, 484 pp., £25, October 2019, 978 1 905559 99 2
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A Jewish Woman of Distinction: The Life and Diaries of Zinaida Poliakova 
by ChaeRan Y. Freeze, translated by Gregory L. Freeze.
Brandeis, 397 pp., £23, February 2020, 978 1 68458 001 9
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Kings of Shanghai: Two Rival Dynasties and the Creation of Modern China 
by Jonathan Kaufman.
Little Brown, 384 pp., £20, November 2020, 978 1 4087 1004 3
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... Sandgruber’s about the Viennese Rothschilds, Lorraine de Meaux’s about the Gunzburgs, ChaeRan Freeze’s on Zinaida Poliakova, and Jonathan Kaufman’s about the Sassoons and Kadoories – all use it. It plays to Old Testament stereotypes and fails to capture the experience of a woman such as Zlata Poliakova, whose commitment to providing her sons with an ...

The Annual MLA Disaster

John Sutherland, 16 December 1993

The Modern Language Association of America: Program for the 109th Convention, Vol. 108, No. 6 
November 1993Show More
The Modern Language Association: Job Information List 
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... Panel 688, ‘Lesbian and Gay Studies: Conflicting Desires’, which features as its third speaker Gregory W. Bredbeck of the University of California Riverside and his rousing talk ‘Fuck Your Gender’. If gender-fucking is too heavy there are scores of other papers with which to amaze the outside world: ‘Star Power: or, How to (De)Flower the Rectal ...

Dolls, Demons and DNA

Barbara Herrnstein Smith: Bruno Latour, 8 March 2012

On the Modern Cult of the Factish Gods 
by Bruno Latour.
Duke, 157 pp., £12.99, March 2011, 978 0 8223 4825 2
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... same can be said of religious beings: divinities and demons, icons and fetishes. The French noun le fait, he observes, ‘means both “what somebody has fabricated” (the manufactured thing) and “what nobody has fabricated” (the autonomous fact)’. This is not, he insists, a contradiction, but to understand why requires us to ‘abandon critical ...

Tall and Tanned and Young and Lovely

James Davidson: The naked body in Ancient Greece, 18 June 1998

Art, Desire and the Body in Ancient Greece 
by Andrew Stewart.
Cambridge, 272 pp., £45, April 1997, 0 521 45064 0
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... between the ages of 18 and 21. During this period boys were known as ephebes, ‘bloomers’ in Gregory Vlastos’s translation, and they could expect to attract astonished glances from all who saw them. Luckily for their breathless admirers, but unfortunately for them, this dazzling effloresence did not last long: as the body aged, its powers faded, until ...

In Fiery Letters

Mark Ford: F.T. Prince, 8 February 2018

Reading F.T. Prince 
by Will May.
Liverpool, 256 pp., £75, December 2016, 978 1 78138 333 9
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... leprosy-afflicted French poet Jean Bodel, the fourth-century archbishop of Constantinople Gregory Nazianzen, the Italian Renaissance polymath Tommaso Campanella, and Thomas Wentworth, the first Earl of Strafford, executed by Charles I in 1641. The nature of Prince’s imaginative involvement in the lives and fates of his personae, to borrow another ...

The Saudi Lie

Madawi Al-Rasheed, 21 March 2019

... Brother is always watching. When, in 2015, the government introduced a public sector employment freeze – a McKinsey recommendation, part of the plan to step up privatisation – there was widespread alarm: nearly 70 per cent of Saudi workers are government employees. To measure the damage to public opinion, McKinsey was commissioned to produce another ...

Into the Eisenshpritz

Elif Batuman: Superheroes, 10 April 2008

Life, in Pictures: Autobiographical Stories 
by Will Eisner.
Norton, 493 pp., £18.99, November 2007, 978 0 393 06107 9
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by David B..
Cape, 368 pp., £12.99, March 2006, 0 224 07920 4
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by Adrian Tomine.
Faber, 108 pp., £12.99, September 2007, 978 0 571 23329 8
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Misery Loves Comedy 
by Ivan Brunetti.
Fantagraphics, 172 pp., £15.99, April 2007, 978 1 56097 792 6
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... This is perhaps the defining feature of the superhero. We recognise Superman not by his ability to freeze objects by blowing on them but by his second life as Clark Kent. In an essay on Superman, Umberto Eco characterised superhero comics generically as an amalgam of ‘mythopoeic’ and ‘novelistic’ narratives: Superman is simultaneously an epic-eternal ...

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