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Fellow Genius

Claude Rawson, 5 January 1989

The Poems of John Oldham 
edited by Harold Brooks and Raman Selden.
Oxford, 592 pp., £60, February 1987, 0 19 812456 2
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... behind a large body of work, now available in full for the first time in a magisterial edition by Harold Brooks, begun over fifty years ago. This includes the fierce ‘Juvenalian’ satires for which he is mainly remembered, but also much else: imitations (sometimes brilliant) of Horace, Ovid and other Latin poets, as well as of Greek poets, and Boileau ...
A Midsummer Night’s Dream 
edited for the Arden Shakespeare series by Harold Brooks.
Methuen, 164 pp., £8, September 1979, 1 903436 60 5
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... proposed – that Theseus said: ‘Now is the mure rased between the two neighbours.’ Professor Brooks admits that this is bad, and agrees that Shakespeare may have agreed to have it changed on the prompt-book, but is certain he wrote it at first, because of the rules invented by Dover Wilson for the misinterpretation of his handwriting. Surely anyone used ...

Short Cuts

Inigo Thomas: At the Ladbroke Arms, 22 February 2018

... doubled in the last two decades: the short explanation for such growth, in his view, is Rebekah Brooks, and the tabloid journalism of News International. You can wonder whether one reason for Britain remaining a part of the EU is to save it from itself, or from the worst instincts of its increasingly reactionary politicians. ‘Pro-EU people are trying to ...

All Together Now

Richard Jenkyns, 11 December 1997

Abide with Me: The World of Victorian Hymns 
by Ian Bradley.
SCM, 299 pp., £30, June 1997, 9780334026921
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The English Hymn: A Critical and Historical Study 
by J.R. Watson.
Oxford, 552 pp., £65, July 1997, 0 19 826762 2
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... age is ‘Away in a manger’ (anonymous), with ‘O little town of Bethlehem’ (Phillips Brooks) and ‘Dear Lord and Father of mankind’ (John Greenleaf Whittier) as runners-up. Among the works of the canonical English poets, the lines known to most people are probably those beginning Blake’s Milton, ‘And did those feet in ancient time ...

Gentlemen Travellers

Denis Donoghue, 18 December 1986

Between the Woods and the Water 
by Patrick Leigh Fermor et al.
Murray, 248 pp., £13.95, October 1986, 0 7195 4264 2
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Coasting 
by Jonathan Raban.
Collins, 301 pp., £10.95, September 1986, 0 00 272119 8
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The Grand Tour 
by Hunter Davies.
Hamish Hamilton, 224 pp., £14.95, September 1986, 0 241 11907 3
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... The word is deadly accurate. The green and rolling hills, the packhorse bridges spanning silver brooks, are theatrical decorations, painted hangings to charm the eye. When people step out from behind the scenery, they are by definition actors, performing a play for the tourists’ entertainment. Britain goes into italic type because it is the title of a ...

What makes Rupert run?

Ross McKibbin: Murdoch’s Politics, 20 June 2013

Murdoch’s Politics: How One Man’s Thirst for Wealth & Power Shapes Our World 
by David McKnight.
Pluto, 260 pp., £12.99, February 2013, 978 0 7453 3346 5
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... admiring letters to the Australian Labor prime minister, Ben Chifley. In 1970 the Sun supported Harold Wilson and in 1972 Murdoch’s papers, notably the Australian (a national daily he had founded in 1964), supported Gough Whitlam. There is, though, a psychological and temperamental unity, a commitment to a ‘radicalism’ that forms a thread between his ...

Waiting for the Dawn to Come

Rachel Bowlby: Reading George Eliot, 11 April 2013

Reading for Our Time: ‘Adam Bede’ and ‘Middlemarch’ Revisited 
by J. Hillis Miller.
Edinburgh, 191 pp., £19.99, March 2012, 978 0 7486 4728 6
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... as well as Shoshana Felman and Barbara Johnson), but also linked to other Yale critics, notably Harold Bloom, Peter Brooks, Geoffrey Hartman and Fredric Jameson. In the decades since then, Miller’s work has continued to evolve, often along paths marked out by Derrida. (Derrida moved from Yale to Irvine in California ...

Anger and Dismay

Denis Donoghue, 19 July 1984

Literary Education: A Revaluation 
by James Gribble.
Cambridge, 182 pp., £16.50, November 1983, 0 521 25315 2
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Reconstructing Literature 
edited by Laurence Lerner.
Blackwell, 218 pp., £15, August 1983, 0 631 13323 2
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Counter-Modernism in Current Critical Theory 
by Geoffrey Thurley.
Macmillan, 216 pp., £20, October 1983, 0 333 33436 1
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... occasions of interpretation: adjudicating the performances of Leavis, Graham Hough and Cleanth Brooks on ‘Tears, Idle Tears’; and of Jonathan Culler and Terence Hawkes on William Carlos Williams’s ‘This is Just to Say’. Theories of Structuralism make Gribble particularly angry. He quotes a bit from Roland Barthes only to say he finds it ...

Diary

Clancy Sigal: Among the Draft-Dodgers, 9 October 2008

... Visiting Forces Act, which mandated police forces to ‘detain and arrest’ absentees. Although Harold Wilson’s government winked at the law, the British police, who generally disliked the Labour Party, enjoyed the easy sport of plucking a deserter – recognisable by his buzzcut – off the street and turning him over to the US military police. In the ...

Do It and Die

Richard Horton, 20 April 1995

Soundings 
by Abraham Verghese.
Phoenix, 347 pp., £18.99, May 1994, 1 897580 26 6
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... elsewhere by CDC. For example, in a recent review of the current trends in the HIV pandemic, Dr Harold Jaffe, Director of the Division of HIV/Aids at CDC, points to two critical warning indicators of the widening scope of the virus. First, women are now experiencing the fastest growth in new infections: four times higher than men. Heterosexual sex is the ...

In the Long Cool Hour

Amia Srinivasan: Pragmatic Naturalism, 6 December 2012

The Ethical Project 
by Philip Kitcher.
Harvard, 422 pp., £36.95, November 2011, 978 0 674 06144 6
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... the fact that our existence has ‘no more meaning than the life of a slime mould’. David Brooks, author of the bestselling pop-science Bildungsroman The Social Animal, explains that his fictional everywoman ‘Erica’ is slow to trust ‘Harold’ because ‘while Pleistocene men could pick their mates on the ...

Swanker

Ronald Bryden, 10 December 1987

The Life of Kenneth Tynan 
by Kathleen Tynan.
Weidenfeld, 407 pp., £16.95, September 1987, 9780297790822
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... books. Hence the cut-throat games of vocabulary-flashing and cultural reference pinned down by Harold Pinter and Joe Orton as Britain’s post-war national sport. Tynan, a bookish, unathletic boy, made this kind of competition his own. A compulsive player of word-games, he spattered his early writing with challenges to duels of literacy. A flip through his ...

Shag another

Katrina Forrester: In Bed with the Police, 7 November 2013

Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police 
by Rob Evans and Paul Lewis.
Faber and Guardian Books, 346 pp., £12.99, June 2013, 978 0 571 30217 8
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... and to catch anyone intent on ‘engineering a breakdown of our present system of government’. Harold Wilson’s government approved Dixon’s plan and agreed to fund the SDS directly from the Treasury. Just as the state overestimated the threat of disorder after Grosvenor Square (the next demonstration, on 27 October, was an anti-climax), it continued to ...

The Best Stuff

Ian Jack: David Astor, 2 June 2016

David Astor: A Life in Print 
by Jeremy Lewis.
Cape, 400 pp., £25, March 2016, 978 0 224 09090 2
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... that we had next to no chance of seeing; the house adverts by the subversive estate agent Roy Brooks that my brother read aloud (‘The décor is revolting … rain drips sadly onto the oilcloth … sacrifice £3500’). As Jeremy Lewis observes, it was a remarkably handsome newspaper, much more spacious in its page layouts and crisper in its black/white ...

So Ordinary, So Glamorous

Thomas Jones: Eternal Bowie, 5 April 2012

Starman: David Bowie, the Definitive Biography 
by Paul Trynka.
Sphere, 440 pp., £9.99, March 2012, 978 0 7515 4293 6
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The Man Who Sold the World: David Bowie and the 1970s 
by Peter Doggett.
Bodley Head, 424 pp., £20, September 2011, 978 1 84792 144 4
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... over the Rainbow’, and before long was singing Yip Harburg’s lyrics as well as Harold Arlen’s tune in live performances of ‘Starman’. In creating Ziggy Stardust, Bowie was acknowledging that it was no longer possible, if it ever had been, to make ‘original’ or ‘authentic’ rock’n’roll, especially if you were a skinny ...

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