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Dressed as an Admiral

Michael Wood: Neruda’s Hocus Pocus, 2 September 2004

by Pablo Neruda, translated by Hardie StMartin.
Souvenir, 370 pp., £12.99, June 2004, 9780285648111
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Isla Negra: A Bilingual Edition 
by Pablo Neruda, translated by Alastair Reid.
Souvenir, 416 pp., £14.99, June 2004, 0 285 64913 2
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The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems 
edited by Mark Eisner.
City Lights, 199 pp., $16.95, April 2004, 0 87286 428 6
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... Ilya Ehrenburg had a complaint about his friend Pablo Neruda’s work. ‘Too much root,’ he said. ‘Too many roots in your poems. Why so many?’ Neruda, reporting this remark in his memoirs, took it as a joke, which it probably was, and as a compliment, which it probably wasn’t. Isla Negra has a whole section, originally a separate volume, called ‘The Hunter after Roots’, and Neruda is not the sort of poet who hunts for things he can’t find, or indeed for things he hasn’t already found ...

Fundamental Brainwork

Jerome McGann, 30 March 2000

Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Collected Writings 
edited by Jan Marsh.
Dent, 531 pp., £25, November 1999, 0 460 87875 1
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Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Painter and Poet 
by Jan Marsh.
Weidenfeld, 592 pp., £25, November 1999, 0 297 81703 5
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... in the style which I originated, for years, when no works at all resembled mine but my own.’ Martin Hardie has defined that originality as an assumption of new technical licences. ‘The central tradition of watercolour meant nothing to Rossetti,’ Hardie observes. ‘He started out to hack his way to ...

Ex-King Coal

Arthur Marwick, 31 March 1988

The History of the British Coal Industry. Vol. IV, 1913-1946: The Political Economy of Decline 
by Barry Supple.
Oxford, 733 pp., £50, December 1987, 9780198282945
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... of the Labour movement. The most significant pioneer of independent Labour representation, Keir Hardie, was a miner, yet the mining MPs (sitting as Liberals) held aloof from the Labour Representation Committee founded in 1900, till their accession in 1906 enabled that fledgling political organisation to change its name to Labour Party. Today’s leader is a ...

The Olympics Scam

Iain Sinclair: The Razing of East London, 19 June 2008

... defining image of this era – Bob Hoskins (in the movie) with his sleek pleasure craft moored in St Katharine Docks, Margaret Thatcher schmoozing the Reichmann brothers in Canary Wharf – is the maquette of the proposed marina, the city of towers. A Lilliputian theme park of unimaginable wealth creation. A DIY anticipation of computer-generated ...

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