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At the British Museum

John-Paul Stonard: ‘Edvard Munch: Love and Angst’, 6 June 2019

... When​ Count Harry Kessler met Edvard Munch in Berlin early in 1895, Munch was ‘still young’, Kessler wrote, but seemed ‘worn out, tired, and in both a psychic and physical sense, hungry’. Munch was 31 and already known for his strange and shocking paintings, but he had yet to make any money from them. Kessler came up with a fund-raising scheme: a portfolio of prints by Munch, to be published by Julius Meier-Graefe and sold through his journal, Pan ...

Franklin D, listen to me

J. Hoberman: Popular (Front) Songs, 17 September 1998

Songs for Political Action: Folk Music, Topical Songs and the American Left, 1926-53 
edited by Ronald Cohen and Dave Samuelson.
Bear Family Records, DM 390, June 1996
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... Folkways Anthology, edited by the polymath collector, underground film-maker, and beatnik shaman Harry Smith, is arcane, but the critical world has been primed for its reappearance. Robert Cantwell’s When We Were Good and Greil Marcus’s The Invisible Republic – recent accounts of the curious development of American folk music – both devote ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Avengers: Endgame’, 6 June 2019

... and is living with his old sweetheart retrieved from the 1970s. On the soundtrack we hear the Harry James song ‘It’s been a long, long time’, already familiar from Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014). It’s not just the Avengers who are ending here. In 2008, with their film Iron Man, Marvel Studios embarked on a series of 22 films and this ...

Jihad

James Wood, 5 August 1993

The New Poetry 
edited by Michael Hulse, David Kennedy and David Morley.
Bloodaxe, 352 pp., £25, May 1993, 1 85224 244 2
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Who Whispered Near Me 
by Killarney Clary.
Bloodaxe, 64 pp., £5.95, February 1993, 1 85224 149 7
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Sunset Grill 
by Anne Rouse.
Bloodaxe, 64 pp., £5.95, March 1993, 1 85224 219 1
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Half Moon Bay 
by Paul Mills.
Carcanet, 95 pp., £6.95, February 1993, 9781857540000
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Shoah 
by Harry Smart.
Faber, 74 pp., £5.99, April 1993, 0 571 16793 4
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The Autonomous Region 
by Kathleen Jamie.
Bloodaxe, 79 pp., £7.95, March 1993, 9781852241735
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Collected Poems 
by F.T. Prince.
Carcanet, 319 pp., £25, March 1993, 1 85754 030 1
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Stirring Stuff 
by Selwyn Pritchard.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 145 pp., £8.99, April 1993, 9781856193085
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News from the Brighton Front 
by Nicki Jackowska.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 86 pp., £7.99, April 1993, 1 85619 306 3
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Translations from the Natural World 
by Les Murray.
Carcanet, 67 pp., £6.95, March 1993, 1 85754 005 0
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... in one respect, though: something is happening in recent British and Irish poetry. Poets like Paul Durcan, Ian McMillan and Peter Didsbury (all well represented here) are pushing the form towards performance and gaudy narrative. Many of the poets are writing long, stringy lines reminiscent of the American poet C.K. Williams, or having cartoonish fun with ...

Fiction and the Poverty of Theory

John Sutherland, 20 November 1986

News from Nowhere 
by David Caute.
Hamish Hamilton, 403 pp., £10.95, September 1986, 0 241 11920 0
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O-Zone 
by Paul Theroux.
Hamish Hamilton, 469 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 241 11948 0
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Ticket to Ride 
by Dennis Potter.
Faber, 202 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 9780571145232
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... attachment to a set of patriarchal male intellectuals older than himself (Russell, Sartre, ‘Harry Marquis’), and another way by simple heterosexual lust for a trio of younger revolutionary women: Beth the Marxist Feminist, Esther the Rhodesian dissident and Liberty the firm-breasted, AK 47-toting black guerrilla. The narrative has lots of sexy bits of ...

Stifled Truth

Wyatt Mason: Tobias Wolff and fictions of the self, 5 February 2004

Old School 
by Tobias Wolff.
Bloomsbury, 195 pp., £12.99, February 2004, 0 7475 6948 7
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... sidestepped Postmodern elders such as John Barth, Robert Coover, Guy Davenport, William Gass, Harry Mathews, Paul Metcalf, Gilbert Sorrentino, Ronald Sukenick and Paul West, as well as their heirs, such as T. Coraghessan Boyle, Lydia Davis, Rick Moody, William Vollmann and David ...

Diary

Christopher Hitchens: The Almanach de Gotha, 2 July 1998

... names and said to the small dark man who still had hold of my hand: ‘Sorry, did you say you were Paul from Romania?’ He released the mitt and drew himself up somewhat. ‘Paul of Romania.’ I burbled something about it being dreadfully noisy in here, he unbent a little and produced from his inside pocket an enticing ...

Wilsonia

Paul Foot, 2 March 1989

The Wilson Plot: The Intelligence Services and the Discrediting of a Prime Minister 
by David Leigh.
Heinemann, 271 pp., £12.95, November 1988, 0 434 41340 2
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A Price too High 
by Peter Rawlinson.
Weidenfeld, 284 pp., £16, March 1989, 0 297 79431 0
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... heroes of the time had mostly been in active service in colonial wars, notably in Palestine. Harry Wharton, Anthony Cavendish, Maurice Oldfield, the arch-racialist George Kennedy Young – all these were in MI5 or MI6 either during or after the war. All of them shared the deeply reactionary ideas which had traditionally inspired the secret ...

Liza Jarrett’s Hard Life

Paul Driver, 4 December 1986

The Death of the Body 
by C.K. Stead.
Collins, 192 pp., £9.95, August 1986, 0 00 223067 4
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Kramer’s Goats 
by Rudolf Nassauer.
Peter Owen, 188 pp., £10.50, August 1986, 0 7206 0659 4
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Mefisto 
by John Banville.
Secker, 234 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 9780436032660
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The Century’s Daughter 
by Pat Barker.
Virago, 284 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 9780860686064
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Love Unknown 
by A.N. Wilson.
Hamish Hamilton, 202 pp., £9.95, August 1986, 0 241 11922 7
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... like the mind/body problem. In fact, the climax provides a sort of answer to that conundrum. Harry Butler, adulterous philosophy professor, is about to fall victim to a frame-up by militant lesbians at his university, and is saved professionally by the vigorous intervention of his hitherto merely mystical wife. But the price of his assured future proves ...

Delightful to be Robbed

E.S. Turner: Stand and deliver, 9 May 2002

Outlaws and Highwaymen: The Cult of the Robber in England from the Middle Ages to the 19th century 
by Gillian Spraggs.
Pimlico, 372 pp., £12.50, November 2001, 0 7126 6479 3
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... are idle fiction. The myth of Robin Hood was well established by the time the sparkish Prince Harry, the future Henry V, was engaged in mischievous highway robberies, possibly little more than royal horseplay, along with that other ‘gentleman robber’ Falstaff (as unreliably described in Shakespeare’s Henry IV). Spraggs, surprisingly, rates Prince ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Fastsellers, 22 March 2001

... units to 5061), and Matthew Kneale slipped to seventh place, behind Anita Shreve, Jack Higgins, Paul Eddy and Catherine Cookson, without sales falling off too dramatically, as a respectable 1366 units of English Passengers left the shelves. Perhaps in future paperbacks should think twice before proclaiming themselves ‘The No.1 Bestseller’: ‘Second ...

Dashing for Freedom

Paul Foot, 12 December 1996

Full Disclosure 
by Andrew Neil.
Macmillan, 481 pp., £20, October 1996, 0 333 64682 7
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... from these discussions. Worse still was the habit which had grown up under the former editor, Harry Evans, of delegating power and responsibility within the newspaper. The plainest example of that was the Insight investigative team, which worked largely under its own editorial control. A common expression in journalism in the Seventies was ...

Dictionaries

Randolph Quirk, 25 October 1979

Collins Dictionary of the English Language 
by P. Hanks, T.H. Long and L. Urdang.
Collins, 1690 pp., £7.95
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... R.W. Burchfield and John Sykes) is comparatively stable. When work began on the new Collins, Paul Procter and Della Summers were young conductors under impresario Urdang, and they later moved on to make dictionaries for Longman. Patrick Hanks was recruited to complete the Collins when he had finished a somewhat similar job for Hamlyn. Both Urdang and ...

All he does is write his novel

Christian Lorentzen: Updike, 5 June 2014

Updike 
by Adam Begley.
Harper, 558 pp., £25, April 2014, 978 0 06 189645 3
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... submerged his extraordinary sensitivities and artistry in the lives of Everyman characters like Harry ‘Rabbit’ Angstrom and, even so, he filled a life like Rabbit’s with plenty of not very mundane drama: serial family abandonment, accidental infanticide, free love, death by house fire, alcohol and drug addiction, business ...

At Tate Britain

Brian Dillon: ‘Phantom Ride’, 4 July 2013

... works lurk (a Henry Moore? another Epstein?). In a shot that is, cinematically speaking, pure Harry Potter, a statue of St George and dragon floats in mid-air without its plinth, then is gone in a twinkle of computer-generated lens flare. In fact, some of the best and strangest moments in Starling’s film, ones that make subsequent strolls through the ...

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