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Retro-Selfies

Iain Sinclair: Ferlinghetti, 17 December 2015

I Greet You at the Beginning of a Great Career: The Selected Correspondence of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg, 1955–97 
edited by Bill Morgan.
City Lights, 284 pp., £11.83, July 2015, 978 0 87286 678 2
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Writing across the Landscape: Travel Journals 1960-2010 
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, edited by Giada Diano and Matthew Gleeson.
Liveright, 464 pp., £22.99, October 2015, 978 1 63149 001 9
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... anticipated by a decade or so the Ginsberg party trick that shocked John Lennon and George Harrison at the dawn of Swinging London. When I interviewed one of the Six Gallery poets, Michael McClure, in 2011, he recalled earlier episodes of Dionysian frenzy with Gerd Stern and a thrash of ‘belly dancers and bongo drums’. Nights that were much closer ...

Ghosting

Andrew O’Hagan: Julian Assange, 6 March 2014

... president won the Pulitzer Prize? And are the science fiction stories H.P. Lovecraft ghosted for Harry Houdini not the best things he ever wrote? There would be a touch of all this in the strange case of Assange. But there is something else about the genre, a sense that the world might be more ghosted now than at any time in history. Isn’t Wikipedia ...

Joining up

Angus Calder, 3 April 1986

Soldier, Soldier 
by Tony Parker.
Heinemann, 244 pp., £9.95, September 1985, 0 434 57770 7
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Echoes of the Great War: The Diary of the Reverend Andrew Clark 1914-1919 
edited by James Munson.
Oxford, 304 pp., £10.95, October 1985, 0 19 212984 8
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The Unknown Army: Mutinies in the British Army in World War One 
by Gloden Dallas and Douglas Gill.
Verso, 178 pp., £18.50, July 1985, 0 86091 106 3
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Soldiers: A History of Men in Battle 
by John Keegan and Richard Holmes.
Hamish Hamilton, 288 pp., £12.95, September 1985, 0 241 11583 3
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... anybody towards the ordinary soldiers’. Surely, though, they can’t stickle more than ‘Major Harrison’, serving in a regiment where members of his family have held commands for ‘literally hundreds of years’, who rejoices that he has been born to ‘the high calling of professional militarism’ and that ever since Sandhurst he has had ‘the ...

Hopi Mean Time

Iain Sinclair: Jim Sallis, 18 March 1999

Eye of the Cricket 
by James Sallis.
No Exit, 190 pp., £6.99, April 1998, 1 874061 77 7
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... come to him. In Black Hornet, Griffin pursues a rooftop assassin (a liberal reworking of Dirty Harry) during a period of racial tension in New Orleans. He’s bombarded by Black Muslim activists, as they shift from berets and dark glasses to business suits. (In a typical Sallis conceit, the Muslim heavy reinvents himself as ‘William Sansom’.) He’s ...

Last Night Fever

David Cannadine: The Proms, 6 September 2007

... seducing upper-class women; and he was an unrivalled showman on the podium. His nickname, ‘Flash Harry’, was a very different soubriquet from Henry Wood’s ‘Old Timber’: a double-edged acknowledgment, not only of his celebrity, but also of what his critics regarded as his limitations. It took Sargent seven years to assert his dominance over the ...

Walk on by

Andrew O’Hagan, 18 November 1993

... public eager for confirmation of their views on the great unwashed: ‘Private notice – Saucy Harry and his moll will be at Chester to eat their Christmas dinner, when they hope Sarcer and the rest of the fraternity will meet them at the union – 14 Nov. 1865’; ‘Wild Scoty, the celebrated king of the cadgers, is in Newgate, in London, going to be ...

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