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Alastair Fowler, 9 November 1989

Melodious Guile: Fictive Pattern in Poetic Language 
by John Hollander.
Yale, 262 pp., £20, January 1989, 0 300 04293 0
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Second World and Green World: Studies in Renaissance Fiction-Making 
by Harry Berger.
California, 519 pp., $54, November 1988, 0 520 05826 7
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... final blurring diphthong of ‘cry’. Second World and Green World is a selection from Harry Berger’s output during more than two decades. The first book I ever reviewed was his The Allegorical Temper (1957), a rather too adventurous Spenser study. But his subsequent writing has had a not very usual history of improvement beyond all ...

It stamps its pretty feet

T.J. Clark: Goya’s Portraits, 19 November 2015

Goya: The Portraits 
National Gallery, until 10 January 2016Show More
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... and fragile. Twenty years ago, in the high times of deconstruction, the literary critic Harry Berger coined the phrase ‘fictions of the pose’ for the circuit of wishes and assumptions he believed made portraiture (and its viewing) possible. Art history, for reasons not mysterious, has set Berger’s ...

Open to Words

Svetlana Alpers: Vermeer and Globalisation, 26 February 2009

Vermeer’s Hat: The 17th Century and the Dawn of the Global World 
by Timothy Brook.
Profile, 272 pp., £18.99, July 2008, 978 1 84668 112 7
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... which hangs nearby in the Mauritshuis. In an essay titled ‘Conspicuous Exclusion in Vermeer’, Harry Berger proposed instead that Vermeer practises a pictorial version of pastoral that involves elaborately evading the claims of the world even as he makes us attend to what has been left out. It is evident that in each case a certain culture and ...

Everyone Loves Her

Will Frears: Stieg Larsson, 16 December 2010

Stieg Larsson, My Friend 
by Kurdo Baksi.
MacLehose Press, 143 pp., £14.99, 0 85705 021 4
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... gripped the collective transnational imagination? The last books to catch fire like this were the Harry Potter series; adults always admitted to reading them with a mixture of shame and defiance, as though they had been caught watching porn. There are no such qualms when it comes to Larsson. The Millennium Trilogy begins with a murder and ends up exposing ...

Siding with Rushdie

Christopher Hitchens, 26 October 1989

The Rushdie File 
edited by Lisa Appignanesi and Sara Maitland.
Fourth Estate/ICA, 268 pp., £5.95, July 1989, 0 947795 84 7
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CounterBlasts No 4: Sacred Cows 
by Fay Weldon.
Chatto, 43 pp., £2.99, July 1989, 0 7011 3556 5
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Salman Rushdie and the Third World: Myths of the Nation 
by Timothy Brennan.
Macmillan, 203 pp., £29.50, September 1989, 0 333 49020 7
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... that exists between God and Allah than exists between God and the Brahma)’. The character is Harry Coomer or Hari Kumar, ground between the two worlds of the subcontinent and the English greensward. Transplanted to (or is it from?) the mother country and educated at ‘Chillingborough’ – Salman Rushdie was at Rugby and writes bitingly about the ...


Jonathan Rée: Ventriloquists, 10 May 2001

Dumbstruck: A Cultural History of Ventriloquism 
by Steven Connor.
Oxford, 449 pp., £25, November 2000, 0 19 818433 6
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... Bygraves (‘I’ve arrived … and to prove it, I’m here!’), Tony Hancock, Gilbert Harding, Harry Secombe, Beryl Reid, Bernard Miles and Hattie Jacques, not to mention the pre-teen Julie Andrews – without ever being upstaged. In performance he would always hit the spot. The secret of his extraordinary popularity was his voice. His high-pitched giggles ...


Adam Shatz, 6 May 2021

Places of Mind: A Life of Edward Said 
by Timothy Brennan.
Bloomsbury, 437 pp., £20, March, 978 1 5266 1465 0
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... last rites. Only a few months later, he was in graduate school at Harvard. His mentor there was Harry Levin, the author of a study of realism which Said considered on a par with Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis. As Brennan points out, Levin’s belief in ‘universal interrelatedness’ inspired Said’s own practice of making unexpected connections between ...

Falling in love with Lucian

Colm Tóibín: Lucian Freud’s Outer Being, 10 October 2019

The Lives of Lucian Freud: Youth, 1922-68 
by William Feaver.
Bloomsbury, 680 pp., £35, September 2019, 978 1 4088 5093 0
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... for his painting Interior at Paddington, but he was doing National Service, so instead he used Harry Diamond. At the time the painting was made, in 1951, Diamond was working as a stagehand and thus was free during the day. For six months, he stood as instructed in Freud’s studio. When he saw the painting, he said that his legs were too short. ‘His legs ...

The Ribs of Rosinante

Richard Gott, 21 August 1997

Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life 
by Jon Lee Anderson.
Bantam, 814 pp., £25, April 1997, 0 593 03403 1
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Compañero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara 
by Jorge Castañeda, translated by Marina Castañeda.
Bloomsbury, 480 pp., £20, October 1997, 0 7475 3334 2
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... from La Paz to view the body, and the famous photographs were taken – later compared by John Berger to Mantegna’s Dead Christ and Rembrandt’s Anatomy Lesson. That evening, when the journalists had gone, the two local doctors performed an autopsy, which showed beyond doubt that Guevara had been shot long after capture, though this only emerged ...

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